Ahead of the weekend, Thomas Tuchel once gain confirmed that Chelsea are looking for solutions at left back in light of Ben Chilwell’s long-term injury, and that getting Emerson back from his loan at Olympique Lyonnais is “one of the options” primarily under consideration — though the initial reporting around that possibility hasn’t been too promising.
Other options might presumably include trying to recall someone else (Ian Maatsen? Baba Rahman?), relying on either youth (Lewis Hall?) or out of the box thinking (Timo Werner finished last night’s game at left wing-back!), or that old classic standby, a panic buy. While it’s still far too early in the month for any sort of panicked overspending, Chelsea are apparently also a bit reluctant to make any major moves at the position at the moment.
Chelsea reluctant to sign a new l/b permamenetly in this window. Loan with an option a possibility if they can't get Emerson back which is the first choice. Signing one permanently now would mean they go into the summer with five left backs at club which makes little sense #cfc— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) January 7, 2022
That’s according to the Telegraph’s Matt Law, who adds that a “loan with an option” is our preferred weapon of choice, which certainly is on brand for pandemic era football. Unfortunately, as Law expounds, that puts us at a disadvantage in any attempt for Lucas Digne or Sergiño Dest, with both Everton and Barcelona, respectively, looking for permanent transfers.
While that’s certainly a reasonable approach, the idea of taking on the entire second half of the season with just Marcos Alonso and ... Callum Hudson-Odoi? ... as our left (wing-)backs should perhaps motivate us into more decisive market action if necessary — especially with Reece James also ruled out for the next two months or so.