Ahead of Crystal Palace vs Chelsea in the Premier League today, our head coach Graham Potter has been talking about one of his current squad and an ex-Blue he managed at his former club very briefly…
While it remains to be seen if Ben Chilwell will be in the Chelsea team named today by Graham Potter for our Premier League game at Crystal Palace, the absence of Marc Cucurella looks likely to increase that possibility.
The summer signing from Brighton was ruled out due to illness when the head coach spoke at his press conference yesterday. Cucurella has started six games this season compared with Chilwell’s two, including in Potter’s first game in charge against RB Salzburg.
England international Chilwell, who was in the Three Lions squad for last month’s final internationals before the World Cup squad is selected but did not see action, made his playing return after an ACL knee injury in the final game of last season.
Potter says he cannot comment on anything outside of Chelsea such as Chilwell’s World Cup prospects, but he describes how the player has been dealing with his reduced amount of match action at club level.
‘I’ve been really impressed with him,’ he begins. ‘I think his attitude has been fantastic.
‘Of course he is frustrated not to play, but at the same time he is intelligent enough to know he has had a horrible injury and it is about step by step, getting back to full fitness.’
The coach reports Chilwell played 90 minutes in a recent behind-closed-doors friendly at Brighton, confirming his good state of fitness.
‘I have no doubt about him physically, it is just he needs to be ready to play, I am sure he will be,’ says Potter.
‘He is an important member of the team, that is how I see it.’
One player who is no longer in the plans at Stamford Bridge is Billy Gilmour, transferred to Brighton as transfer window closed and only a week before the then Seagulls manager moved the other way to Chelsea.
‘The uncomfortable thing about it is the timing of my opportunity here,’ admits Potter.
‘So close after the transfer window had closed is never ideal, but it is part of life and part of football.
‘I wish him [Gilmour] well and my first impressions of him is he is a top, top lad and we know the talent he has, so hopefully he will do well there.’