Romeo Lavia, a teenager signed by Chelsea for £58m in the summer, may have to wait longer to make his debut due to an injury. Lavia missed out on a full pre-season with the Saints and has been spending the last few weeks getting his match fitness up at Cobham.
Mauricio Pochettino confirmed that Lavia took part in a full training session for the first time, but that could be his only completed session for some time.
Chelsea risk losing Nicolas Jackson to suspension in the coming weeks once Premier League action resumes after the international break. The Senegalese striker has already acquired three yellow cards in just four games, being one of four players to do so.
The 2023/24 campaign has delivered on the prediction that match officials would be stricter on player conduct and time-wasting. The revamped guidelines have led to referees brandishing more yellow cards at this stage of the season than ever before. Any Premier League player who racks up five yellow cards inside the first 19 league games will be suspended for one match.
Matchday 19 will take place over the festive period, with most teams in action on Boxing Day, before a slight break comes in 2024. Players who accumulate double-figure bookings before, and including, the 32nd game of the season will be suspended for a further two games.
Mauricio Pochettino may wish Chelsea had signed another striker in the summer transfer window, as they had the opportunity to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Juventus but opted against signing the Serbia international for around £68m.
Chelsea risk losing £31m-rated talent Ian Maatsen to Manchester City after snubbing the reigning Premier League champions’ offer to sign Marc Cucurella in January. The Blues had agreed a deal late on in the recent summer transfer window with Burnley over an initial loan move for Maatsen, followed by a £68m transfer for the Serbia international.