Why Mauricio Pochettino has a £60m problem on his hands despite getting the best out of youngsters
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino will have to find a way to get Romeo Lavia first fit before looking into how he can integrate him into his well-oiled midfield that has been functioning well with Conor Gallagher, Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez.
The Chelsea boss has a reputation for being one of the best managers when it comes to getting the best from young players and he’ll now have to ensure that the £60millin spent on Lavia who has been incredibly unlucky since he turned down the chance to join Liverpool and instead moved to Chelsea.
The challenge is not Lavia’s fitness but the smooth form of the trio that have established themselves as the best since the Argentina manager took over. Conor Gallagher has been Chelsea’s best player this season and even though big-money signings Enzo Fernandez and Caicedo are yet to truly take off, they have done well and have shown that they can be great.
Chelsea have switched the project and thrown money at the future, that is the reason there was a strong appetite to sell Conor Gallagher in the summer -but he’s arrested the situation and taken on the challenge that has now led to talks of him being in discussion to for a new contract.
As things stand, Lavia is on the mend and is likely to be back before the end of next month, maybe earlier than that but his return to fitness will test a squad that is now just beginning to show its potential.
The Blues have gone four games without a defeat and with many now tipping them to go on and finish in the top four of the Premier League table.
When Chelsea were winning the Champions Leagues and dominating the domestic scene, they had great depth and given their injury record it will be interesting to see if Lavia’s return strengthens the competition and brings the best out of everyone or ends up being one of those signings that really never got going due to injuries.