Monday, January 30, 2023

Graham Potter has £90m Chelsea pair boost to complete perfect Reece James Abu Dhabi plan

Graham Potter has £90m Chelsea pair boost to complete perfect Reece James Abu Dhabi plan

Soon, Chelsea will fly to the Persian Gulf in preparation for the Blues’ return to Premier League action after the holidays.

Graham Potter will accompany a squad not in Qatar for the World Cup to Abu Dhabi for warm-weather training and a friendly against Aston Villa in the CBF Al Wahda Challenge Cup on Sunday, December 11.

Despite having 15 players at the World Cup, Chelsea has a large enough roster to deploy a fairly strong eleven in the friendly, which will ideally lead to a great performance against Bournemouth on December 27.

Chelsea will benefit greatly from the return of injured key players who were ineligible for their national teams’ World Cup rosters.

Reece James, Wesley Fofana, and Ben Chilwell all suffered debilitating injuries in the season’s early months, and all three defenders hope to return to action when club play starts.

Online clips of Fofana training at Cobham and Chilwell running on a treadmill while recovering from a hamstring injury have already surfaced. Given his electrifying form prior to suffering a knee injury at the San Siro in October, James is the most likely of the injured trio to return to the lineup.

In recent years, the 22-year-old has become an integral element of Chelsea’s system, dominating the right side by providing defensive stability, goals, and creativity. All of these characteristics were lost during his leave, as Potter was unable to maintain the improvement in performance observed following his September appointment.

Without James, Chelsea won only one of six Premier League matches, losing the other five, scoring only once in a 4-1 loss to Brighton.

Fofana’s return to the defense will be a huge relief for Potter, whose options in that area were dwindling. The French defender, who was acquired from Leicester for £70 million in August, had his first months at Chelsea cut short by a knee injury and is certain to start against Bournemouth.

Carney Chukwuemeka, who has not started a game for Chelsea since his £20 million transfer from Aston Villa in July, could take advantage of this rare opportunity to make an impression. The 19-year-old midfielder has shown flashes of his brilliance off the bench for Potter, but he provides a wildcard possibility in a crucial position.

In addition to returning players, veteran players such as Jorginho and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were able to rest at the World Cup and will also play a significant role.

Although the majority of the world’s focus will remain on Qatar until the 18th of December, Chelsea’s preparations beginning the following week provide an opportunity for select bench players to alter the trajectory of the club’s season.

Graham Potter has £90m Chelsea pair boost to complete perfect Reece James Abu Dhabi plan

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