sport news Should Chelsea sign a left-back in January after Ben Chilwell's potentially ...

sport news Should Chelsea sign a left-back in January after Ben Chilwell's potentially ...
sport news Should Chelsea sign a left-back in January after Ben Chilwell's potentially ...

Ben Chilwell has endured a year of extremes in 2021 but it took another turn for the worse in midweek after he suffered a partial ACL injury in Chelsea's 4-0 Champions League win against Juventus

Boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed Chelsea will wait six weeks to see if the left-back needs surgery which would threaten to end his season, but the German added: 'We are very positive because the first reaction of his body is very positive.

'Hopefully it stays like this and now the full focus from everybody is towards the next six weeks, bringing him back to the pitch and make him play.

Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell suffered a partial ACL injury against Juventus in midweek

Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell suffered a partial ACL injury against Juventus in midweek

It comes as a serious blow to Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel (centre) ahead of a busy period

It comes as a serious blow to Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel (centre) ahead of a busy period

'This is the decision after all the examinations and is a very responsible decision so there so no rushing it and no pressure. This is the reasonable way to do it. So all the focus now is on the next six weeks.'

It was the latest incident in a topsy-turvy calendar year for the England international, who did not get on the pitch at Euro 2020 after playing a crucial role in Chelsea's Champions League success last term.

Tuchel then preferred Marcos Alonso at the start of the new season because Chilwell - who only started only one of the club's first 10 games - was not quite yet up to speed following his holiday after the Three Lions' defeat by Italy.

The German boss would later reveal in September he believed Chilwell had been suffering from mental fatigue as a result of concerns about his lack of recent game time at club and international level.

Chilwell could be out for up to nine months if he requires surgery after six weeks have passed

Chilwell could be out for up to nine months if he requires surgery after six weeks have passed

But he was reinstated at the start of October and once more became a virtual ever-present for club and country, scoring three goals and recording one assist in six Premier League games.

Tuchel seemed to have a good thing going with Reece James shining on the other flank, and so this term the ex-Borussia Dortmund and PSG boss has only had to decide the unlucky members of the squad to be omitted for a matchday.

But the injury to former Leicester defender Chilwell - who could be out for between six to nine months if surgery is required - provides him with his first major undesired selection headache of the season less than a month away from the festive period. 

Marcos Alonso (left) is best placed to fill in, having started as first-choice left-back this term

Marcos Alonso (left) is best placed to fill in, having started as first-choice left-back this term

So how do Chelsea cope without him for at least the next six weeks? Well, Tuchel's woes would be greatly exacerbated if the experienced Alonso was not available to slot in immediately for the short-term.

The 30-year-old Spaniard featured in Chelsea's first six league games of the season - scoring once - but has since been restricted to performances in the Champions League and Carabao Cup only.

Alonso's injury record at Chelsea means there is little cause for concern in that regard, and Tuchel will be crossing his fingers that remains the case until January swings around. 

The wing-back also remains an incredibly effective attacking outlet for the Blues, but his defensive capabilities are not of the commensurate level, and that will concern Tuchel if they have to face title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City without Chilwell.

He remains an excellent attacking full-back but Tuchel may have doubts about him defensively

He remains an excellent attacking full-back but Tuchel may have doubts about him defensively

The European champions' next league fixtures against Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola's men come in January, when the transfer market would present him with the ability to strengthen that area.

So should Tuchel enter the market and add a third left-back option to his squad? After all, business conducted at the end of the last transfer window does give the German another option.

The Blues signed Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez on loan on deadline day in the summer, with the option to make the move permanent in the summer.

However, the Spain international has played just 252 minutes of football for the Blues this season and has failed to impress during his limited midfield opportunities ever since he was withdrawn at half-time on his debut against Aston Villa.

Loan flop Saul Niguez is another option, having failed to convince in limited midfield chances

Loan flop Saul Niguez is another option, having failed to convince in limited midfield chances

The chance to feature regularly - albeit in an unnatural role - is surely better than sporadic minutes here and there, and having played as a full-back under Diego Simeone at Atletico, he certainly has some experience in that area.

He was commended for how he filled in there for the injured Filipe Luis and Lucas Hernandez for several weeks of the 2018-19 season, and said nothing out of the ordinary after starring in

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