Chelsea's Overlooked Player Faces Challenges with Pochettino's Key Trio

This summer’s transfer saga at Chelsea centered around the arrival of Romeo Lavia. His role in the Chelsea squad and the obstacles he faces in making his long-awaited debut have been a topic of great intrigue.

The transfer market was abuzz during the summer, with Lavia’s move to Chelsea taking the spotlight, even though it wasn’t the biggest deal in the Todd Boehly era

Initially, it seemed almost certain that he would join Liverpool, but the Blues made a last-minute swoop, securing his services.

However, Lavia has yet to step onto the pitch for his new club. When he first joined Chelsea, the 19-year-old wasn’t match-fit. After working hard to get closer to full fitness, he suffered an unfortunate setback—a troublesome ankle injury.

While the Belgian international is expected to return in December, the exact date for his debut remains uncertain. Even when he is fully fit, it may be challenging for him to find a place in Mauricio Pochettino’s plans.

In recent games, Pochettino has opted for a midfield trio of Conor Gallagher, Enzo Fernandez, and Moises Caicedo, and their performance as a unit has been impressive.

Each player fulfills a distinct role within the midfield trio. In their recent match against Arsenal, they dominated the midfield.

Conor Gallagher, in particular, has made remarkable progress under Pochettino. The 23-year-old has come a long way from his underwhelming 2022/23 season, where he lacked a defined role at the club.

Last season, he was often used as a substitute for his work rate, but Pochettino now has faith in his all-around abilities.

Enzo Fernandez is a key figure for Chelsea, and Moises Caicedo is rapidly growing into a similar role within the team. Even Lesley Ugochukwu, who has had limited opportunities due to the form of the aforementioned trio, has performed well when called upon.

It’s far from certain that Lavia will easily break into the Chelsea side when he regains full fitness. However, Lavia brings something unique to the table that no other Chelsea player possesses—an innate ability to win the ball in midfield.

This is particularly crucial in tough away fixtures against formidable opponents like Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham.

Nonetheless, when facing defensive-minded teams like Nottingham Forest and Luton Town at home, the requirement for a No.6 may diminish. Regardless, when Romeo Lavia is match-fit, Chelsea won’t rush his return to action, especially if their midfield continues to perform well.

Given Chelsea’s injury woes this season, Mauricio Pochettino will exercise extra caution in reintroducing players. This approach was evident when Reece James made a substitute appearance against Arsenal following a lengthy absence, and Benoit Badiashile remained on the bench.

It’s intriguing to contemplate how Romeo Lavia, who has somewhat slipped from the forefront of many Chelsea fans’ minds, will fit into the squad when he becomes available. Suddenly, his inclusion will provide Chelsea with much-needed midfield depth.


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