In a rather surprising and unexpected move, Chelsea have recalled young Cesare Casadei from his loan at Leicester City. Casadei had featured in all but three of Leicester’s games since joining in August, starting eleven games and scoring three goals in his 25 total appearances (with a couple assists as well).
He had started back-to-back-to-back games since the calendar turned over to 2024 and looked set to keep contributing signifcantly for the Championship-leaders amid their midfielder shortage.
Just last week, manager Enzo Maresca talked up the 21-year-old’s prospects for this season as beyond, having grown into the challenge of playing for the Foxes.
“We are very happy with Cesare every time he plays [...] He’s young. He needs to improve. He’s in the right process to improve. We are very, very, very happy with Cesare. We don’t have doubts that he’s going to help us in the next months.”
-Enzo Maresca; source: Leicester Mercury
The view from Leicester appears to be that we’re bringing Casadei back because Mauricio Pochettino wants to “include him in his 25-man squad for the second half of the Premier League season”. That sounds a bit fanciful, in all honesty, unless we’re about to farm out Lesley Ugochukwu or do something silly with Conor Gallagher.
Either way, hopefully this is not another Nathan Aké situation, who was brought back from a useful loan at AFC Bournemouth by Antonio Conte in 2017, and then was stuck on the bench for six months before justifiably choosing to leave for good that following summer.