In the aftermath of the defeat to Manchester City, Chelsea’s week goes from bad to worse as record signing Alvaro Morata is set to be sidelined for a month.
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are still reeling from their humbling defeat at the hands of title rivals Manchester City and the news that Alvaro Morata’s hamstring strain is worse than first feared – the Spanish hitman is out for four weeks – has compounded the ill-feeling around Stamford Bridge.
Morata has hit the ground running for the Blues, bagging six goals in seven league games and is sure to be a big miss in the ensuing weeks. League matches with Crystal Palace, Watford and Bournemouth are sandwiched with a Champions League tie with Roma and a Carabao Cup encounter with Everton.
Whilst the fans and players will be moving on from Saturday’s disappointment, Chelsea’s performance in the absence of Morata against City will cause Conte greater concern. Willian replaced Morata on Saturday, leaving Eden Hazard out of position and ineffective as the lone striker.
Michy Batsuhayi’s position at the club looks unstable, with Conte seemingly not trusting the young Belgian to lead the line in big games (he was not brought on until the 73rd minute) and how the absence of Diego Costa is sure to resonate around the Bridge.
Morata was due to link up with the Spanish national team this week but has returned to London to begin treatment after being diagnosed with a grade two tear on Monday and with no football for Chelsea until October 14 the Spaniard could be back in a Chelsea shirt by the end of the month.
The Spaniard posted an optimistic photo on social media indicating he would be back in time for Chelsea’s next game with Crystal Palace; however, the post was swiftly deleted with the club’s management seemingly apprehensive about putting a definitive timescale on his return.