Chelsea’s jerseys have a big number three on the front to match the number of selection headaches manager Graham potter will have to deal with. It was announced that Chelsea stars N’Golo Kante, Reece James, and new signing Wesley Fofana will all miss extended time with injury.
Kante has reaggravated a nagging hamstring injury to the point that he will see a specialist. He has been out since a draw against Tottenham end of August. This has given youngsters Connor Gallagher and Ruben Loftus-Cheek an opportunity that they are relishing. Kante stands out on paper as the most serious loss to the Blue’s title aspirations, but with solid squad depth, they should be able to make do in his absence. This injury as serious as it is could be advantageous to their contract negotiations with Kante. The oft-injured Frenchman has been pining for a four-year deal, with Chelsea Steadfast at three years. This newest injury could limit interest from other clubs allowing a compromise to be found to keep the talismanic Frenchman in London.
James has established himself in the Chelsea squad as one of the first names on the team sheet. With a new deal on the horizon, this knee injury is devastating. Picked up in the UCL clash VS Milan he is expected to miss significant time including the World Cup. Chelsea manager Potter will have captain Azpilicueta as a replacement, but with the Spaniard’s age and quickly decreasing pace, a January signing is needed. Chelsea is sniffing around Leipzig RB Josko Gvardiol, and desperation from this James injury could make his already hefty price increase.
Fofana joined Chelsea at the end of the summer transfer window from Leicester city just like Kante back in 2016. The young Frenchman was tabbed for similar success in London. Now he also picked up a sprained knee vs Milan. L’Equipe has reported that he may miss significant time, but unlike his teammates could be healthy before the World Cup. Potter has played a free-flowing backline with a back three switching to a back four and vice versa during matches. These injuries could force him to stick to a formation more strictly. Last year’s shooting star Trevor Chalobah will be the most likely to fill in for Fofana if Azpilicueta is forced to play on the right flank.
This is a major blow to the Blues who are still alive in all competitions. Kante and James will also miss the World Cup, but Fofana still has a chance to be healthy in time. However, with limited action leading up he could be a major selection risk for France Manager Didier Deschamps.
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