Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia’s rare transfer mistake in wake of Ben Chilwell injury

Thomas Tuchel reviews Chelsea's 4-0 win against Juventus

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Chelsea were rocked this week after Ben Chilwell reportedly suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in their dominant 4-0 win over Juventus in the Champions League. And now, they’ve faced a setback in their bid to bring in a short-term replacement. 

The 24-year-old wing-back, who’s been in fine form for the Blues this term, was left writhing in agony after twisting his knee in turf.

And according to The Telegraph, it could be a season-ending injury. Although a scan on Wednesday confirmed ACL damage, it’s not yet been decided if Chilwell will need surgery.

However, the report goes on to state that Chilwell’s team-mates are concerned that the England ace will have to go under the surgeons’ knife; which would rule him out for the remainder of the 2021/22 campaign.

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Regardless of whether or not Chilwell does require surgery, he’s definitely set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, leaving Marcos Alonso as the only recognised left wing-back at Stamford Bridge for now.

And Thomas Tuchel is set for a further blow as it has emerged that Chelsea will be unable to cut short Emerson Palmieri’s loan spell at Lyon in January.

The Italian wing-back penned a new deal at Stamford Bridge shortly before heading to France for the season, but that could count for little as it was revealed in the deal that Lyon had agreed on a match-up clause; essentially meaning that they’ll have first refusal when it comes to striking or matching any permanent deal for the 27-year-old until next summer.

If there is no recall option in Emerson’s loan, that would represent a rare error in the transfer market for Chelsea, who are usually led diligently by transfer chief Marina Granovskaia.

It’s looking more and more likely that she’ll be busy trying to rectify that oversight with Emerson in the New Year.

Wing-backs are key to Tuchel’s current system and it’s very unlikely he’ll be satisfied heading into the second half of the season with just one recognised left wing-back – especially given that the Blues are likely to be challenging for honours on three fronts with the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup all in their sights.

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Both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic have been used as makeshift wing-backs on that side before, whilst ostracised midfielder Saul Niguel can also fill that role on a temporary basis.

But it’s unlikely that Chelsea’s relentless boss will be happy with a stopgap replacement for a player who was absolutely key in the Blues early surge to the top of the Premier League.

And if they are unable to prise Emerson away from France early, then it’s likely Tuchel will be applying pressure on the Chelsea hierarchy to get Granovskaia to work on rectifying that oversight once the transfer window reopens in the New Year.

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