Forgotten Chelsea stars sends clear message to Mauricio Pochettino as Chelsea star were excellent on international duty

Forgotten Chelsea stars sends clear message to Mauricio Pochettino as Chelsea star were excellent on international duty

Mykhailo Mudryk, Cesare Casadei, and Deivid Washington are among the players to have staked their claim for a bigger role in Chelsea’s run-in until the end of the season. The Blues still have plenty to fight for despite fan unrest becoming clear in recent weeks.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men will travel to Wembley next month for an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City as they aim to make up for the disappointing Carabao Cup final showing against Liverpool in February. There is also still the chance to secure European football for next season via the league.

Chelsea are just five points off West Ham in seventh and have two games in hand on their London rivals. They could move up to eighth with just a single win as well as the mid-table battle for Europa League places goes on.

They will have to show a consistency that has thus far evaded them though in order to make the most of a frustrating campaign to date. In order to do that Pochettino will be looking to turn to his squad as a whole with a host of key players still out injured.

Amongst those hoping to get into that first team mix more consistently is Mudryk. He has been deployed centrally at times in recent weeks, showing a new side to his game. Although he was taken off earlier than the Stamford Bridge crowd had hoped during the 4-2 win over Leicester last Sunday he impressed with his directness on the ball.

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Now, taking to the field for his country during the last international break of the season, Mudryk has shown what he can do when put back in the more natural left-wing role. Starting Ukraine’s Euro 2024 qualifier away to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mudryk dropped deep to pick up possession before opening himself out onto his weaker right foot, spraying a cross-field pass to a teammate and then watched as his country equalised late on.

He will now be hoping to get the chance again to impact games for Chelsea in attack after Raheem Sterling’s poor form grated so clearly with the fanbase. Mudryk isn’t the only one that has been doing their bit during the break to get the attention of the head coach.

Casadei was recalled by Chelsea in January having spent the first half of the season on loan at Leicester. With Lesley Ugochukwu and Romeo Lavia ruled out injured, the Italian youngster was brought back to Cobham as extra midfield cover.

He hasn’t been used often though in the two months since returning. Limited to just brief substitute cameos and unavailable to play in domestic cup ties, it has been a frustrating period for the former Inter man.

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Offered the chance to start for the first time in over eight weeks, Casadei took the opportunity with both hands as Italy’s Under-21 side hammered Latvia on Friday. They racked up 33 shots during 90 minutes, though just six were on target, with 78% of the ball as well.

Italy are unbeaten in their Euro Under-21 qualification group and Casadei showed just why. Popping up inside the area after half an hour he managed to find space in a crowded box to unleash a sideways volley. The acrobatic effort handed his team the lead in sensational style.

It is the sort of box-crashing ability that saw Chelsea spend £15million to secure him in 2022. He will be hoping that Pochettino catches a glimpse of his impact moving forward.

If Casadei’s goal was good, then back at Cobham, Washington took his chance to stand out in training with an even better strike. The teenager has been on the outskirts of Pochettino’s squad but benefits from being left behind as he took to the grass at the Surrey-based complex.

Washington has only made fleeting appearances for the senior squad this year but has shown an improvement in form for the development sides in recent weeks. This confidence saw him pull off an extravagant effort in training that eclipsed that of his teammate.

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Despite not being in a competitive environment, Washington’s overhead kick goal in training was still some feat. Flinging himself into the air in order to latch onto a throw from fellow Blues youngster Eddie Beach, Washington connected sweetly with the ball and powered it in off the bar.

Given just how much change has happened at Chelsea it has been easy at times to forget about Washington. Signed for £17million from Santos despite his lack of senior experience in Brazil, Washington is a player of immense potential. He is now the only other natural striker available to Pochettino outside of Nicolas Jackson with Christopher Nkunku injured.

With skills like those shown at Cobham, fans will be eager to see him get the chance more often.

Noni Madueke also followed up his spectacular goal against Leicester with another strike for the England Under-21 side. The winger has graduated beyond this level long before now but will now have his sights set on securing a regular place in the first team to make the most of his recent momentum.

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