International breaks are good because they give you a chance to regroup, and perhaps re-strategize, but they don’t always come without a hazard.
Eden Hazard has only started playing for Chelsea recently this season, and that’s because he only just recovered from a horrible injury he sustained while on international duty with his home country, Belgium in June. He had to get operated on, and watched from the sidelines for weeks before he was able to get back into action. That is the downside to international breaks. They expose a club’s players to injury layoffs, which tell on the club.
Alvaro Morata is out injured, and may not be back for some weeks. And as if that’s not a big enough loss already, another big name has been rendered unavailable for the team for a lengthy period.
While on international duty with France, N’Golo Kante sustained a hamstring problem, and that’s taken him out of our fixtures for the coming weeks, if reports are anything to go by. This means he won’t be available for crucial league games and the important tie against Roma. With players of this level of importance sidelined for us, how will we cope for the next few weeks?
While Morata’s goals may be replaced by the in-form Batshuayi, Kante’s contributions are irreplaceable, at least, for now. His absence will perhaps be the most felt since he joined, and it’s heartbreaking that this is happening under this seemingly tough season. The Manchester Clubs are ahead in the title race and Chelsea have little margin for error.
Tiemoue Bakayoko has the potential to perform in Kante’s position, but can he put in the same amount of work? Can he make those runs, perform the tackles, and completely silence an opposition? It’ll be interesting to see what plans Conte comes up with, but the reality is clear; he’ll need to come up with an excellent one because there’s little margin for error at this point of the campaign.