Chelsea’s injuries have been a major and at times decisive factor in the way our season has gone, with Ben Chilwell’s ACL one of the biggest in terms of impact — we have won only 4 out of the 10 games he’s missed thus far.
With Chilly now officially ruled out through at least the end of the season (and quite likely beyond), Chelsea must use January to figure out a remedy for this problem, and perhaps not just for the short-term but for the longer term as well. Marcos Alonso is not the player he once was (nor is César Azpilicueta), and while Christian Pulisic did okay against Brighton on the right flank, now Reece James is hurt as well, after he deputized on the left in Wednesday’s game.
We do have a couple potential “in-house” solutions, with a recall of Ian Maatsen from Coventry City a definite possibility (less likely for Emerson or Baba Rahman), and we could potentially promote a youth player as well (though there is no James, Lamptey, or Livramento equivalent at the moment), but it’s more likely that Chelsea would dip into the transfer market in search of a solution.
What do #CFC do now Chilwell is ruled out? With @MarkCarey93, I discuss the quality of possible options & the chances of them coming:— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) December 29, 2021
New subs deal - pay £24 for a year:https://t.co/5GL1J770id
Everton wantaway Lucas Digne seems a realistic option, while Chelsea have also been linked with Sergiño Dest. The Telegraph, Goal, Gianluca Di Marzio and the Guardian all note that we could look to bring in one of them on a six-month loan deal if we’re not willing to commit beyond that timeframe, although whether such an arrangement would be favorable to either Barcelona or Everton is yet to be seen.
Meanwhile, one-time target Nicolás Tagliafico has fallen down the pecking order at Ajax this season and could re-enter the conversation as well (as per the Daily Mail and Sky Sport Italia). Tagliafico’s contract runs through 2023, which has also alerted Newcastle United.
A more ambitious option could be someone like Theo Hernández from AC Milan, which sounds great in theory but would be even harder in practice. Milan already rejected €46m from PSG for him in the summer, and are reportedly not interested in doing business at anything under €60m, if that. CalcioMercato’s Daniele Longo and Tuttosport claim that Chelsea have sounded out the 24-year-old’s agents, but Milan have made it clear he’s not for sale.
The transfer window opens this weekend.
Chelsea are considering options to replace Chilwell. #CFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 28, 2021
First approach with Lucas Digne’s camp as he’s prepared to leave Everton.
Sergiño Dest is appreciated - nothing advanced yet. Nicolás Tagliafico has been discussed weeks ago.
Recalling E. Palmieri or Maatsen, plan B.