Mauricio Pochettino’s plans at Chelsea have suffered an early setback, with Benoit Badiashile expected to miss the start of next campaign due to a groin injury.
Badiashile missed yesterday’s defeat at Man City after pulling up in training last week and was due to undergo surgery today that could keep him out for four months.
Losing Badiashile for the start of his rebuild at the club is a blow for Pochettino, who is finalising his appointment and sees pre-season as a key time to implement his methods on the squad.
Badiashile has made a good start to his Chelsea career after his £35m January move from Monaco and has been targeting an important role in the team next season.
Chelsea left the 22-year-old out of their Champions League squad and he found himself behind Chalobah and Fofana, as Frank Lampard prioritised players who were able to play in Europe.
But Badiashile has been impressive when he has played and is seen as a vital player for the future.
The injury to Badiashile could present a chance for Levi Colwill, who is set to return to Chelsea next season after an impressive loan spell at Brighton this campaign.
Colwill is also a left-footed central defender and Pochettino is said to have been impressed by the 20-year-old, who is expected to pushing for an England call-up next season.
Without European football next season, it was not clear if Badiashile & Colwill could coexist in the West London club’s squad.
Colwill has attracted huge interest from Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton, but Pochettino is unlikely to want to lose him now that Badiashile is out.
Badiashile joins Mason Mount, Reece James, Kante, Kovacic and Ben Chilwell on the sidelines and Chelsea are looking to address their injury issues this season.
Players have been concerned about the level of the medical department, after a major overhaul of backroom staff by new owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.