Pochettino get major injury boost before Arsenal with star spotted amid Christopher Nkunku message
Chelsea can relax a little during the international break as players continue to drop like flies with injury issues across the board. Mykhailo Mudryk is the latest to join the growing list of doubts one week into the fortnight away from club action and for Mauricio Pochettino it is a problem.
Cole Palmer, Nicolas Jackson, Armando Broja and Axel Disasi have all become fresh doubts for the Blues as they look to prepare during the break for the visit of Arsenal. However, one player that Pochettino will be able to keep a closer eye on is Thiago Silva.
The Brazilian was left out of Fernando Diniz’s second squad as the temporary head coach once more turned away from his veteran defender. Silva has now not played for his country since the World Cup. At the time he hinted at potential international retirement but has so far not been needed with the South Americans making good progress towards qualification for the 2026 World Cup already.
For Silva, 39, it is not the worst thing ever as he is saved from long journeys in a short space of time, especially as he remains an integral part of Pochettino’s Chelsea side. The manager has already seen the effect that trips to South America and back can have on his players after Moises Caicedo arrived back from the last break injured and Enzo Fernandez severely fatigued.
This time around Brazil doesn’t play their second match until Wednesday, October 18 in the morning, just three days before Chelsea are due to play Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Being given minutes in that game, or even having to travel back afterwards, is far from ideal preparation for such a big game.
Instead, Silva has been able to work back at Cobham alongside Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella and Rob Sanchez, just a few of the names not needed with their countries currently. It is a big help for Pochettino as he also balances the integration and recovery of his other players.
Unlike Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Magalhaes, two of Mikel Arteta’s stars who will be aiming to play a big role in the game on Saturday but are currently away with Brazil, Silva has spent his time being a bit more relaxed. On Saturday night he was spotted watching on at Kingsmeadow as Emma Hayes’ Chelsea women beat West Ham 2-0.
Silva, who remains central to all operations at Chelsea in defence and off the field as well, will hope to soon be able to play his first minutes alongside Christopher Nkunku. The Frenchman remains out with a long-term injury and is expected to return back in December so the Arsenal game comes far too soon for him, but there has been positive progress with his recovery.
Nkunku has once more posted on social media updating fans of his work in the gym and has also been there to send a congratulatory message to his France teammates that secured their spot at Euro 2024 with victory over Netherlands on Friday. The day that Pochettino can confidently name both Nkunku and Silva in the same team will be a big one indeed for Chelsea.