Benoit Badiashile hands Mauricio Pochettino huge Chelsea dilemma for Tottenham clash


Benoit Badiashile's return to action with Chelsea could not have gone much better with the defender marking his injury comeback in style. The France international picked up a hamstring issue earlier this year which resulted in him missing the final weeks of the 2022/23 campaign and the entirety of pre-season under Mauricio Pochettino.

Over the September international break, Badiashile had returned to partial training with reporting he was on track to face Bournemouth on September 17. However, a setback in his recovery forced him to miss nearly another four weeks of action before being spotted back on the pitches at Cobham last month.

Two matchday squad appearances then followed against Arsenal and Brentford, although he did not make it onto the pitch. With a Carabao Cup clash against Blackburn Rovers to come four days after the defeat to the Bees, it looked the perfect opportunity to start Badiashile and those thoughts were reflected by Pochettino.

Alongside captain Reece James being handed his first start in two months, Badiashile was also named in the team next to international team-mate Axel Disasi. While his main job is to defend, the former AS Monaco man found himself in the right place at the right time to sweep home the opener.

A goal on his return will certainly make the headlines, but his defensive dominance should also be appreciated. In the first 45, he made two clearances and tackles with a 95% pass completion rate after touching the ball on 49 separate occasions. Badiashile also won all of his five duels.

Currently, Thiago Silva and Levi Colwill look to be the first-choice centre-back partnership with injuries forcing Pochettino into that decision. However, the controlling performance from Badiashile could result in him being immediately brought back into the starting XI.

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Considering he has missed the last five months, however, a successive start is perhaps not too likely, although there is a considerable amount of days before the Blues travel to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Silva being gradually phased out of the team is certainly possible, following his latest admission about his future, this season and that could happen to Badiashile's benefit.

If that were to occur, it may cause a slight problem with two left-footed centre-backs in the team, although Badiashile already has his dream partner in mind. "Me and him complement each other really well," Disasi told Chelsea's official website in an interview alongside his fellow countryman. "I’m perhaps more of a duels player, while he likes to receive the ball and start up attacks. But it’s not a case of him not being a duels player and me not being a receiver of the ball. These things, they just work well. We feel great together."

That would leave Colwill perhaps having to settle for a spot at left-back for the time being with James, when fully fit, Chelsea's best option on the right.

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