It wouldn’t be a Chelsea victory without a new Chelsea injury, and that sad adage held true yesterday as Ben Chilwell limped off in the final minutes with an apparent hamstring injury.
Chilly got the start, and the captain’s armband, after bench duty in the last two games, and he even got to play more of a wing-back role rather than trying to impersonate an attacking winger, but he would be unable to see out the full-90.
A tackle in stoppage-time at the end sent him to the turf, with the referee swallowing his whistle for the manyeth time and Brighton countering the other way. Thankfully we survived and held on for the clean sheet, but Chilwell’s day would be over. He signalled almost immediately to the bench that he needed a sub — unfortunately we had used all of our substitution windows by then so we had to see out the match with 10 men for the second time in four days. Conor Gallagher deputized at right back; Marc Cucurella switched to the left for those remaining minutes.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino confirmed the injury after the game, though its exact nature and severity will depend on our full assessment that is to come.
“Yes [injury], we need to assess tomorrow but I think it is hamstring.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London
While we certainly have depth at the position (Cucurella, Ian Maatsen, Levi Colwill), another long-term injury to Chilwell would be far from ideal — just like last season, or the season before (see also: Reece James).
On the plus side, no one said anything about Nicolas Jackson’s wrist injury, so presumably it’s not significant and won’t cause him to miss any time (though he is still suspended for our next game due to yellow card accumulation).