Chelsea have been handed a boost with news of the potential return of defender Benoit Badiashile to the first-team after his injury last season.
The Blues had left the centre-back out of their travelling squad for their pre-season friendly tour of the USA in July and he was set to stay back in London to recover from his injury.
Badiashile suffered a hamstring injury in the late stages of last season and is currently still working his way back to full fitness. He is reported to be targeting a comeback as close to the start of the season as possible and has begun doing gym work at Cobham.
But Chelsea have now been handed a potential boost as many reports suggest that the 22-year-old is set to return back from injury earlier than the club’s doctors first anticipated. He is now expected to return as early as August 26 for the Blue’s fixture against newcomers Luton Town in the Premier League.
The Frenchman’s potential return would be a huge relief for Chelsea as they currently only have 3 genuine options at centre-back after Wesley Fofana unfortunately ruptured his ACL at the beginning of the pre-season campaign, which will rule him out for majority of the 2023/24 season.
Thiago Silva, Lewi Colwill and Trevor Chalobah are the only available centre-backs for Chelsea going into the start of next season. Malang Sarr has been training with the first-team but is likely to be loaned out.
Badiashile arrived at Stamford Bridge in January of this year and has not become a regular first-team player yet. He arrived from his boyhood club AS Monaco with a big reputation as one of the most promising upcoming talents in France. He has also earned 2 caps for his national team France.
The defender could be a key part of new boss Mauricio Pochettino’s team as his ball-playing abilities suit the Argentine’s preferred style of play. He would also provide more balance to the backline as he is left-footed and Pochettino generally deploys a four-at-the-back defensive setup.
He will no doubt face competition from youngster Lewi Colwill though, who has captured many people’s imaginations with his impressive performances for Brighton on loan all of last season.
Pochettino is known to give promising youngsters a fair chance and with the current injury situation, Colwill is extremely likely to start the first few games for him. If he impresses, it may be difficult for Badiashile to break into the first-team as both play at left centre-back.