Thursday , April 18 2024

Chelsea’s £58m summer signing Romeo Lavia picks up a thigh injury on his debut – after FOUR MONTHS on the sidelines with an ankle problem – as boss Mauricio Pochettino admits he is ‘worried’

  • Romeo Lavia was injured on his Premier League debut for Chelsea vs Palace 
  • He had to wait four months for his bow due to ankle issue after £58m switch 
  • Ian Ladyman reveals the most BORING manager he’s dealt with during his career – It’s All Kicking Off 

Chelsea’s £58million signing Romeo Lavia was injured on his club debut against Crystal Palace on Wednesday – after spending four months on the sidelines with a separate ankle issue. 

Lavia played the final 32 minutes of Chelsea’s 2-1 win over the Eagles at Stamford Bridge after a long wait for his first team bow – having been injured since arriving from Southampton in the summer.

It should have been a moment to savour for Lavia after he finally got a run-out for the Blues having replaced Ian Maatsen just before the hour mark – but it was one that quickly turned into a nightmare after news he had suffered a setback.

Mauricio Pochettino did nothing to quell fears over the 19-year-old after he appeared to head into the dressing room in some discomfort, adding: ‘I’m a little bit worried about Lavia. He finished with some issues, but I hope it’s not a big issue.’ 

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Lavia has been hard at work after recently returning to training, boosting Chelsea’s ranks after fellow new signing Christopher Nkunku also returned to fitness and played his first game. 

Chelsea's £58m signing Romeo Lavia was injured on his long-awaited debut vs Crystal Palace

Chelsea’s £58m signing Romeo Lavia was injured on his long-awaited debut vs Crystal Palace

Boss Mauricio Pochettino admitted he was 'worried' about Lavia

The midfielder picked up a thigh issue after the game

Boss Mauricio Pochettino (L) admitted he was ‘worried’ after Lavia picked up a thigh issue

But after his latest setback, Lavia will have his fingers crossed that he is not ruled out for an extended period – after Pochettino previously warned that he still has work to do to get in his side and back to full fitness.

Speaking ahead of the Palace win, the Argentine said: ‘Lavia is the same as Nkunku. After nearly six months, maybe he will be involved with the team. He is doing well but he still needs time to get his best form.

‘What I want to make clear is that all the players, after a big period out of the competition, they are desperate to be involved.

‘They can be involved but in which way, which level? It’s easy to say you want to play. After six months, they need to understand that they need to be involved and train hard every day. They need to be an impact every time they go on the pitch.  

‘”‘I want to play, if I don’t have time I can’t perform” – players need to understand that it is not a charity thing, it’s not a joke. We must win. Sometimes we feel so disappointed because players [find it] difficult to understand, disappointed.

The former Southampton star has been on the sidelines for four months with an ankle problem

The former Southampton star has been on the sidelines for four months with an ankle problem 

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‘If he didn’t play, it’s not because we don’t believe in him, in Lavia, it’s because too many other players are training for six months… more ready than these guys. It’s about the moment, today, who is ready to compete and provide what we expect from the player and the team.

‘But come on, it’s annoying me, people around the players, complaining. The club is disappointed after investing big. We invest in the salary. Who suffers for the coaches and club? We need to get the right balance.’ 

Luckily for Pochettino, his team – which was the youngest side ever Chelsea side named in the Premier League – got the job done against Roy Hodgson’s men thanks to Mykhailo Mudryk’s opener, before Michael Olise’s equaliser on the stroke of half time.

With time running out, the Blues were staring at another disappointing result before Noni Madueke was tripped in the area and stepped up to dispatch the resulting spot-kick.  

Mauricio PochettinoPremier League

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