In case you did not know, Loftus-Cheek got injured three days ago, on the 16th May 2019. Why am I making such a big deal of this date? Well, the Premier League season is over, we have a Europa League final in two weeks, and he wasn’t injured in training: he was injured in a friendly. Minimum six months out, ruptured achilles. Injured in a friendly, unreal. Here’s what to learn and expect for the future of Chelsea Football Club.
The first thing, is that we now only have Barkley as his replacement at the moment, with Kovacic seen more as a backup to Jorginho rather than Ruben. If our transfer ban does not get frozen in the Summer, it does look like Mason Mount will get his opportunity with Chelsea next season, especially as The Chelsea Echo reported last week that Mason Mount will be joining us in Japan for pre-season. As much as Mount would not have liked to see his mate Loftus-Cheek getting injured, I’m sure he woud know that this is his big opportunity to make it with the club, as well as Barkley not being on the best of form this season. Will they be able to fill Ruben’s boots? That is not for us to contemplate on, but there is no doubt that Mount and Barkley do have talent, they just need to build some momentum and form with the club, and make sure they stay with a high mentality the whole time.
Loftus-Cheek’s injury is an example of the ignorance and complacency from Roman Abramovic and the whole board. Do not get me wrong, the whole reason of the game to stop discrimination and anti-semitism was absolutely needed, however this was completely the wrong time to play the game. Two weeks before a Europan Cup Final, did the board not expect us to reach the final? This shouldn’t have been the case, as it was reported that the targets for the season were to make top 4 and to reach the Europa League Final, exactly what we have done. This fixture could also have been played a lot later, in pre-season. This fixture was also an example of whether the manager Maurizio Sarri does actually have a big role at the club as we thought. It has been pondered that Sarri was forced to play some of the bigger players from the board, hence Sarri in his press conferences before made it clear that he was angry about the timing of the game. Making Sarri play big players before the final, playing fixtures without Sarri knowing? Not my cheese and butter.
One thing which we can learn is that Maurizio DOES care about Chelsea, and is passionate, but just doesn’t show it by celebrating too much and ruunning around the pitch and holding onto the dugouts. A video has gone viral on social media, where Sarri was throwing his jacket on the floor in anger when Loftus-Cheek was receiving treatment on the sidelines. This shows he cares about Loftus-Cheek, he cares about the Europa League final coming up, he cares about Chelsea, but more importantly how much of a value the 23 year old has become to the club and to his team.
Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri visibly upset as starting CM Loftus Cheek limps off friendly vs. NE Revs in USA.
Sarri throws his jacket in anger, and was furious for most of 2nd half.
Chelsea play Arsenal in the Europa Final in 2 weeks. RLC feared to tear Achilles. pic.twitter.com/AGTycHU3hw
— Infamous (@InfamousChelsea) 16 May 2019
Finally, in my opinion, there have been too many injuries over the last season. Now do not get me wrong, I am the last person who should be doubting the manager, physiotherapists and the training schedule, but for me even though Loftus-Cheek’s injury and Hudson-Odoi’s injury can happen to anyone at any time, there were also knocks to Rudiger and Kante. Even Sarri admitted after the Watford game that he should not have played Kante, but for me this is an example of a lack of squad depth in the squad of the highest quality, as Maurizio didn’t believe that Kovacic or Loftus-Cheek were good enough in that Right-Centre-Midfield position. Who could fill this role? Well, even in this system, not many can do the work which Ngolo Kante does, but for next season we could definetely see the likes of Mount or Reece James play in his position.
In Conclusion, great idea and concept behind the game, but at completely the wrong time. Sarri was right to be angry before and during the game, but it’s a bit of unfortune, however it could have been overturned. Big boots to fill at the beginning of next season, but it’s certainly possible.