Ben Chilwell out for season
The news Chelsea fans were dreading arrived on Tuesday as it was reported that Ben Chilwell is now expected to be out for the rest of the season as he requires surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament.
Chelsea themselves confirmed the defender is set to undergo surgery in the below statement:
After a knee injury in the match against Juventus the Chelsea medical department, in collaboration with their knee specialist, took the decision to attempt a conservative rehab approach. Unfortunately Ben was unable to progress and so collectively the decision has been taken to proceed this week with a surgical repair.
An injury update on @BenChilwell. ⤵️
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 28, 2021
Ben Chilwell had been crucial to Chelsea’s impressive early-season form, scoring three and assisting one in six league outings.
And it is probably not too much of a coincidence that Chelsea’s form and ability to keep clean sheets has tailed off massively since Chilwell was sidelined.
So, it is probably a good idea on Chelsea’s part to find some cover for Chilwell in January as, even if Marcos Alonso was playing well, he cannot play every game at left-wing-back from now until the end of the campaign.
Chelsea learn Theo Hernandez price
On Tuesday, journalist Fabrizio Romano outlined some names that Chelsea have shown interest in as potential replacements for Chilwell.
These were Lucas Digne, Nicolas Tagliafico and Sergino Dest:
Chelsea are considering options to replace Chilwell. 🔵 #CFC
First approach with Lucas Digne’s camp as he’s prepared to leave Everton.
Sergiño Dest is appreciated – nothing advanced yet. Nicolás Tagliafico has been discussed weeks ago.
Recalling E. Palmieri or Maatsen, plan B.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 28, 2021
Now though, another left-back has been linked with the west London outfit.
The player in question is Theo Hernandez, who is currently plying his trade with AC Milan.
Hernandez is a very attack-minded full-back who has scored two and assisted five in 15 league games so far this term.
And, according to football.london citing reports from Italy, Hernandez has been identified as a viable candidate to replace Chilwell.
However, it is claimed that Milan have told Chelsea it would cost more than €60m to sign the Frenchman.
Given Chilwell is likely to become the Blues’ main left-back once again when he returns from injury, would Chelsea really want to spend such a sum on a back-up option?