Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that Chelsea’s summer signing, Romeo Lavia, is still far from making a return to first-team action due to an ongoing injury.
Despite impressing in his debut Premier League season with Southampton last year, the 20-year-old defensive midfielder opted to join Stamford Bridge over Liverpool. However, persistent fitness issues have limited Lavia to a single league appearance in the 2023/24 season, which occurred in a 2-1 home victory against Crystal Palace in late December. Unfortunately, Lavia sustained an injury in that match and has not been in action since.
When asked about Lavia’s availability for the upcoming Carabao Cup final against Liverpool, Pochettino responded negatively, stating, “No. He is not training with the team. He is still recovering. But no, no, impossible. Still not on the pitch.”
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Pochettino provided updates on other players, indicating that assessments are needed for Benoit Badiashile, while Levi Colwill’s availability depends on further evaluation. On a positive note, Trevoh Chalobah is progressing well and participating in team training.
Chelsea currently faces challenges in the Premier League, sliding into the bottom half of the table after a recent defeat to Wolves. However, they advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a midweek victory against Aston Villa.
Pochettino is grappling with the absence of key players, including goalkeeper Robert Sanchez, defenders Wesley Fofana, Reece James, and Marc Cucurella, along with Lesley Ugochukwu.
The team’s next fixture is an away game against Crystal Palace on Monday night, and Pochettino is eager to reverse their fortunes in the second half of the campaign after a challenging debut season in west London.