At the start of the season, Chelsea spent more than $200 million on acquiring new talents. A key area that Frank Lampard wanted to improve upon was the left-back area. Finally, the Blues managed to sign Ben Chilwell from Leicester City for a fee of $50 million.
Marcos Alonso and Emerson had only impressed in patches. Overall both of them have been inconsistent and at times they were a defensive liability. This season Chilwell has been an upgrade at the left-back spot. He can defend very well and he can attack as well.
At the right-back position, they had César Azpilicueta and Recce James. The latter was made part of the first team after impressing on season-long with Wigan. This season Lampard decided to pick James over the experienced Azpilicueta. So far he has done well and the Spaniard is hardly missed.
This season Chiwell has made 17 appearances in all competitions and James has made 15 appearances in all competitions. Chilwell has contributed to 6 goals and James has contributed to 4 goals. It is clear that both of them are very important in the way Lampard wants Chelsea to play. However, both of them could be absent for the derby day clash against Arsenal.
Why Ben Chilwell could miss the game?
The Englishman started the game against West Ham. However, he was substituted and later replaced by Emerson. During the game, Chilwell had hurt his ankle by twisting it. Frank Lampard has said that Chilwell will go for a scan.
The extent of the injury is still not clear. He could be out for a long time and it is also possible that he may not be out for long. Lampard also confirmed that the former Leicester City left-back is a doubt for the boxing day clash against Arsenal.
This is not the first time, Chilwell has been injured in his short Chelsea career. Though the issue is not related to fitness as overall he has been available for the club. During the last international break he was substituted against Belgium but he played the next game against Newcastle.
It is likely that Lampard will not rush Chilwell to play in the derby. He has Emerson and Alonso at his disposal. The Brazilian is likely to start over the Spaniard. Alonso hasn’t played since Chelsea’s horror defensive show against West Brom in a 3-3 draw.
Why Recce James could miss the game?
The 20 years old missed the West Ham game due to injury. He has been struggling with a knee injury this season. Even in the game against Wolves, it could be seen that he was uncomfortable during the end of the game.
Thus it was believed that he may have to go through surgery in order to treat his knee issue. However, a new report from The Athletic has thrown some light on the issue. It has been reported that the injury is not as bad as feared initially.
James will have to go throw surgery only as a last resort to the problem. Ceasar Azpilicuetta will deputise in place of the Englishman. This season chances have been limited for him but he has always shown good professionalism during his Chelsea career.
This is a festive period for Chelsea with a hectic schedule. Games will come thick and fast and injury concerns will grow. The Blues have good squad depth and they should be able to cope up with the fixture list.