Chelsea to be left dangerously short as Mauricio Pochettino ‘loses faith’ in £30m star | Football | Sport

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Chelsea could be left very short of options at centre-back next season if Mauricio Pochettino decides to get rid of Benoit Badiashile in the summer window. Badiashile arrived at Stamford Bridge in January last year but has seen his development hampered by a string of injury problems, restricting him to just eight Premier League appearances this campaign.

The Frenchman missed the start of the season with a hamstring problem and is currently sidelined with a groin issue, which has seen him miss Chelsea’s last three league games. He is unlikely to return to fitness until next month, meaning he will miss the Carabao Cup final showdown with Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

It seems that injuries might have wrecked Badiashile’s hopes of making the grade at Chelsea, with TVPlay reporting that Pochettino has ‘lost faith’ in the defender as a viable first-team option. It is said that he could be made available for a move elsewhere in the summer amid interest from AC Milan, who are thought to be keen on bringing him to the San Siro.

Pochettino has reportedly grown frustrated with Badiashile’s poor form when he has been fit, with the Argentine open to letting him leave. A quick return to Chelsea’s starting side looks unlikely for the 22-year-old, who has slipped behind the likes of Levi Colwill, Thiago Silva and Axel Disasi in the Blues pecking order.

However, the west Londoners could risk leaving themselves desperately short of central defenders if Badiashile is allowed to move on at the end of the season. Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr are firmly on the fringes and could also leave in the summer, while Silva is unlikely to be offered a new deal when his current one expires later this year.

It means that Disasi, Colwill and the injury-prone Wesley Fofana could be Chelsea’s only recognised centre-backs next season if Badiashile departs Stamford Bridge. They will also have Alfie Gilchrist but there will be questions over whether the 20-year-old will be ready to play a prominent role at this early stage in his development.

In any case, it seems likely that Chelsea will look to strengthen in defence regardless of whether Badiashile stays or goes at the end of the campaign. They have recently been linked with a potential move for Marc Guehi, who left Chelsea to join Crystal Palace three years ago and is now recognised as one of the Premier League‘s best young defenders.

Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham have also been credited with a desire to land Guehi, which suggests that Chelsea will face a four-way battle for his signature in the summer. Sporting defender Ousmane Diomande is said to be another target for the Blues but it remains to be seen how the situation will play out between now and the start of next season.

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