Monday, July 15, 2024

Mauricio Pochettino ‘worried’ as Chelsea star suffers setback on long-awaited debut

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Mauricio Pochettino admitted he was ‘worried’ after Romeo Lavia suffered an injury setback on his long-awaited Chelsea debut.

The Blues beat Liverpool to the £58million signing of the 19-year-old midfielder in the summer, but he has spent the entire season on the sidelines recovering from an ankle injury.

Pochettino had hoped the return of the Belgium international would ease the burden on Moises Caicedo, Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher who have featured in the majority of Chelsea’s matches this season.

Lavia finally made his Blues bow after he was summoned from the bench shortly before the hour mark in last night’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.

The former Manchester City youth player showed several nice touches as the Blues secured a much-needed three points thanks to Noni Madueke’s late penalty.

Lavia, however, left the pitch in some discomfort and is understood to have suffered a problem with his thigh.

Speaking after the game, Pochettino said: ‘I’m a little bit worried about Lavia. He finished with some issues, but I hope it’s not a big issue.’

Another summer signing whose season has been impacted by injury, Christopher Nkunku, also showed some encouraging signs before he began to tire and was taken off in the second half.

‘It’s not just one, two, three or four in 45 minutes. I think we need him to be more involved, but it’s normal. It’s his first 70 minutes.

‘I think he was a little bit tired and struggled a little bit after 45 minutes. But it’s normal. He needs time, and to play games. He needs to adapt to the team and the players are going to connect with him.’

 

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