pochettino has told one Chelsea player to find His way out of the club by the summer or He will be treated just as Aubameyang

He should leave this Club now,I don’t like lazy player that don’t want to improve’: pochettino has told one Chelsea player to find His way out of the club by the summer or He will be treated just as Aubameyang

“Disasi I’m very disappointed on him”

“In nine months? You know the answer,” a brutally honest Mauricio Pochettino said last week when asked if he has been able to field his ‘best’ Chelsea team during his tenure.

It has been a season filled with injury problems for the Blues, whose situation seems to be easing somewhat but there are a host of key players still sidelined. At the moment, Christopher Nkunku, Benoit Badiashile, Carney Chukwuemeka, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Romeo Lavia and Lesley Ugochukwu are unavailable due to injury.

At every stage this season, it seems Chelsea have been missing at least six players due to injury. After spending £1billion in recent transfer windows, everyone expected the Blues to have serious squad depth, but the situation in the medical room has hampered that for Pochettino.

A lot of those players have been missing for quite some time, too, with Fofana (ruptured anterior cruciate ligament) out for the whole season. James has featured just nine times this term, accumulating fewer than 500 minutes, in what is his first campaign as club captain.

Nkunku has had a torrid first season at the club with three separate injury problems seeing him play just 10 times in all competitions for the Blues. Badiashile has been in and out of the squad with numerous muscular injuries and so has Ugochukwu.

Lavia, like Nkunku, has had a nightmare debut season at Stamford Bridge. The Belgium international, who was signed from Southampton last summer, has featured just once for Chelsea – playing 40 minutes against Crystal Palace in December before suffering another problem.

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Pochettino has not been able to work with a lot of the players together at once. The Blues’ head coach, who is under immense pressure from the club’s fan base, has been deprived of options in what was already a really difficult job.

But how many players does he need to return until he can field his best-possible lineup? Bobby Vincent shares his thoughts.

Goalkeeper
Pochettino made his thoughts on the goalkeeper situation perfectly clear at the weekend. Robert Sanchez is now fit and available having returned from a knee injury, but Pochettino still went with Djordje Petrovic in between the posts in the draw at Brentford.

The Serbian goalkeeper was superb when thrown into the team following Sanchez’s injury. Prior to his knee problem, Sanchez was the undisputed first-choice option for Pochettino but the tide looks to have turned

Defence
Malo Gusto has been sensational in James’ absence. The French right-back’s all-round game is highly impressive considering he is just 20-years-old and in his debut season in a new country and league.

James, though, is one of the best right-backs in world football when he is fit; but that caveat is the issue – he rarely is. However, the England international had surgery on his hamstring in December and will be hopeful that the operation will be able to solve his long-term muscular injuries.

Axel Disasi has played more minutes in a Chelsea shirt this season than anyone, with just shy of 3,500 in all competitions, but there is still doubt that he gets in Pochettino’s ‘best-possible’ side. Fofana has not played a game under Pochettino yet because of the serious knee injury he suffered in the summer. And it does not look like he will this season.

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“Unfortunately, I think it is difficult to see him [play this season],” Pochettino said on Fofana last week. “But you never know.”

There is still so much to come from Fofana in a Chelsea shirt. Since he moved from Leicester City for around £70million in the summer of 2022, we have only really shown glimpses of his undeniable talent that makes him one of the most highly-rated young defenders in European football.

Next to Fofana, ideally, would be the left-footed Levi Colwill to offer great balance to the back-four. Colwill has spent a lot of this season playing at left-back but has been used more centrally in recent games due to the fitness of Thiago Silva.

It has not been an ideal season for Colwill after returning from an impressive loan spell at Brighton last term. But the England international has remarkable talent and looks set to be a stalwart member of the Blues’ defence for many years to come.

Ben Chilwell is the obvious choice for left-back, although many Chelsea supporters are highly critical of their vice-captain. But, in my opinion, of the options the club have available to them, Chilwell is head and shoulders the best.

Midfield
Lavia has not been involved much this season at all and it is difficult to say just yet whether he makes the ‘best-possible lineup’ for Chelsea. Also, Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez – the club’s two most expensive signings – have shown signs of forming an impressive partnership in the midfield, although they do need to be more consistent.

The likes of Chukwuemeka and Ugochukwu are options in there. Chukwuemeka, though, seems more suited to be in a more offensive role, whereas Ugochukwu looks as if he needs more game-time before we can fully judge him.

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Conor Gallagher has been used often as a No.10 this season and in recent weeks especially the 24-year-old has shone. But in a different system, to suit the majority of the personnel, Gallagher could be dropped back slightly deeper in a midfield three. Enzo one side, Gallagher the other, with Caicedo the deepest of the trio.

Attack
Cole Palmer, without question, gets in this lineup. He is often used from the right-hand side but has also flourished in the middle for the Blues this season. In a 4-3-2-1 formation, it would allow him to be closer to his attacking teammates and it is almost the middle ground between being on the right and in the centre.

Nkunku has shown, even in his brief time on the pitch, that he is an expert finisher, so you want him to be as close to the goal as possible. There are signs, too, that he has a strong connection with Nicolas Jackson already.

Jackson would be the No.9. While he has been criticised strongly from every corner this season, he has bagged himself 11 goals in his debut campaign in England. Considering all the circumstances, that really is not a terrible return.

There is much for Jackson to improve on, granted, but at 22-years-old, he is still so young and raw. A front-three of Palmer, Nkunku and Jackson could be the way to go and it leaves you some dangerous options in Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke on the bench.

Dream Chelsea lineup (4-3-2-1): Petrovic (£14m); James (free), Fofana (£70m), Colwill (free), Chilwell (£50m); Caicedo (£115m), Enzo (£106m), Gallagher (free); Palmer (£42.5m), Nkunku (£52m); Jackson (£30m) – total cost: around £480m.

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