Premier League • England

Granovskaia forced to think again as Chilwell, Chelsea contingency plan bluntly fails

Marina Granovskaia Chelsea director

Chelsea have failed with an attempt to recall Emerson Palmieri from his Lyon loan following Ben Chilwell’s injury, a report has claimed.

The Blues enjoyed a strong start to the season but are now up against it. Not only have results took a turn for the worse, their injury situation has hampered their progress.

While midfielders Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante have proved big misses, so too has left-back Chilwell.

The 25-year-old initially lost his place when boss Thomas Tuchel arrived last January. This season, though, he was in inspired form until a knee injury he suffered against Juventus.

The England international has therefore been out since mid-November. However, more recently, Chelsea discovered that he will likely need surgery to correct his anterior cruciate ligament problem. That will rule him out for the rest of the season.

As a result, Chelsea have been looking at transfer solutions to fill in for his absence. Everton’s Lucas Digne is one of the Blues’ top targets for a potential new signing, but concerns have been raised about whether a deal is possible.

However, L’Equipe (via Get French Football News) reports that Chelsea and director Marina Granovskaia have looked within to solve the problem.

Nevertheless, Lyon have rejected their attempt to recall left-back Palmieri from his loan deal in France.

Lucas Digne to Chelsea is on as Everton left back wants out

Lucas Digne to Chelsea is on as Everton left back wants out

Lucas Digne is ready for his chance at Chelsea as Everton are ready to sell after manager spat

That is because Chelsea do not in fact have a formal recall clause in the agreement.

Palmieri has endured a mixed time of his career with Chelsea. He signed under former Blues boss Antonio Conte in January 2018 but he proved a bit-part player under the 52-year-old and fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri.

That trend continued under Frank Lampard in 2019/20 and in Tuchel’s first half-season. As a result, Chelsea let him move to Lyon on loan for this term.

Palmieri has missed only two Ligue 1 matches this season, playing 19 matches overall.

Chilwell absence part of wider Chelsea problem

Ben Chilwell, Chelsea left-back during Premier League clash at Leicester City

Chilwell is one of a number of key players on the sidelines in Tuchel’s team.

While Romelu Lukaku has returned from his own problem, Reece James and Andreas Christensen came off during Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Brighton.

Coronavirus cases have also affected Chelsea and Tuchel has admitted that it is “stupid” to say that his side are still in the title race.

The Blues’ draw left them eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City following their win over Brentford.