Chelsea: Benoit Badiashile misses the start of next season – a setback for Mauricio Pochettino’s plans
Badiashile missed yesterday’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City after interrupting training last week and has had an operation today that could sideline him for up to four months.
The loss of Badiashile early in his Chelsea rebuild is a major blow to Pochettino, who is finalizing his appointment and sees pre-season as a crucial time to implement his methods and philosophy across the squad.
Badiashile has made an encouraging start to his Chelsea career after his £35million move from Monaco in January and is aiming for a key role in the team next season.
Chelsea dropped the 22-year-old France international from their Champions League squad and he went on to stand behind Trevoh Chalobah and Wesley Fofana, while caretaker manager Frank Lampard favored players who could play in Europe.
But Badiashile has impressed when he played and is seen as a key player going forward.
Badiashile’s injury could present an opportunity for Levi Colwill, who is set to return to Chelsea next season after an impressive loan spell at Brighton this season.
Colwill is also a left-footed centre-back and Pochettino is said to have been impressed by the 20-year-old, who is expected to feature for England next season.
Without European football next season, it was not clear whether Badiashile and Colwill could coexist in the Chelsea squad.
Colwill has attracted interest from Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton but Pochettino is unlikely to want to lose him with Badiashile absent.
Badiashile is on the touchline alongside Mason Mount, Reece James, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Ben Chilwell and Chelsea are looking to get their injury woes under control this season.
Players are concerned about the level of the medical department after new owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital undertook a major overhaul of the backroom staff.
Long-time medical directors Thierry Laurent and Paco Biosca both retired last year and some players felt the upheaval in the medical department was partly to blame for an injury crisis plaguing the squad ahead of the World Cup.
Private physical therapy company Remedy made major changes to the department in September. Chelsea have also signed Fearghal Kerin from Leinster Rugby and Dave Fevre as agents, with further changes expected.
The extensive staff changes are seen as a factor in Chelsea’s poor season. In October, then-manager Graham Potter said: “Obviously we always want to try to improve and that’s an area where we can probably improve.”
https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/chelsea-fc-injury-news-badiashile-pochettino-b1082773.html Chelsea: Benoit Badiashile misses the start of next season – a setback for Mauricio Pochettino’s plans