Chelsea

Ben Chilwell’s long-term injury could help resurrect one player’s Chelsea career and it’s not even Alonso

Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow as a key member of their squad Ben Chilwell has been confirmed to have sustained an ACL injury during their 4-0 win over Juventus.

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Chilwell is expected to be out for at least the rest of the year and he could even be out for the rest of this season leaving Marcos Alonso as the only available natural left-back option in the Chelsea squad.

Emerson Palmieri left Chelsea for French club Olympique Lyonnaise in the summer on a season long loan with an option to make permanent and it is not yet known whether the loan deal contains an option for a recall in January and even if it does Emerson is already enjoying life in France and wouldn’t fancy a Chelsea return in January. Hence, the Blues are set to be one man short.

The current situation could therefore hand one Chelsea player in the current squad a lifeline to resurrect his Chelsea career and that player is Saúl Niguez who joined the Blues on a season long loan with an option to make permanent from Atletico Madrid in the summer.

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Saúl has not had the expected loan spell at Chelsea as he’s been unable to nail a regular spot in Thomas Tuchel’s team since his first and only premier league start against Aston Villa in a game which he was substituted at halftime earlier this season.

Saúl played at left wing-back for Atletico Madrid a times last season and played in that position in his first two games at Atletico this season before his move to Chelsea and he could well do that for Chelsea. Though, left wing-back is not a position the Spaniard favours.

The Spain international joined Chelsea with the promise that he was coming to play in his preferred central midfield position and any talks of making him fill in for the injured Ben Chilwell or as a backup for Marcos Alonso at left wing-back might not sit well with the midfielder, but at Chelsea it is definitely different.

Thomas Tuchel’s wing-back system at Chelsea is to a large extent different from Diego Simeone’s at Atletico which Saúl refused to play in, as in Tuchel’s system the wing-backs are a hybrid of both attacking and defensive midfielders.

Thomas Tuchel has openly stated that his wing-backs are midfielders not defenders and this can be seen in the positions both Reece James and Ben Chilwell have occupied in recent games.

Saúl Niguez would most likely than not thrive in this current system as he’d find himself in his more preferred central positions on the pitch and it is definitely better than sitting on the bench for a whole season, and if he’s handed the lifeline he could have a more impactful loan spell and at the same time make Chelsea’s decisions next summer a little bit more difficult.