Chelsea's Chilwell ruled out for remainder of season ahead of ACL surgery

Ben Chillwell injuryGetty

Ben Chilwell is set to miss the rest of the season after Chelsea decided to end his previous rehabilitation process and send him for surgery.

It was hoped that the defender would avoid going under the knife and return in January after he injured his anterior cruciate ligament in November's 4-0 Champions League win over Juventus.

However, the Blues feel the injury now needs surgery, with the England international now targeting a return for next season.

What has been said?

Chelsea announced Chilwell's surgery in a statement that read: "After a knee injury in the match against Juventus the Chelsea medical department, in collaboration with their knee specialist, took the decision to attempt a conservative rehab approach.

"Unfortunately Ben was unable to progress and so collectively the decision has been taken to proceed this week with a surgical repair."

What happens next?

Chelsea will need to find a solution for Chilwell's prolonged absence in January. They could opt to sign someone or recall one of their substantial group of players out on loan.

Lyon loanee Emerson Palmieri and Coventry City's Ian Maatsen are two candidates for possible recalls, but the details will come down to contractual arrangements with their current clubs.

Furthermore, the Blues could attempt to convince Everton to allow Lucas Digne out on a six-month loan deal after seeing him fall out of favour with Rafael Benitez. Currently, the France international is being offered out to various clubs ahead of a January move.

Indeed, there could be more left-backs offered to Chelsea during the winter transfer market once the fallout from losing Chilwell becomes more widely known.

Could anyone step up from Tuchel's current squad?

For now, Thomas Tuchel will block any loan moves for Malang Sarr, who had attracted some interest from AC Milan.

Article continues below

That is to ensure that his squad isn't left short in the Premier League title race, with clubs like Arsenal and Tottenham chasing their top-four place from behind.

The Blues only have Marcos Alonso available as a specialist left wing-back, with Saul Niguez, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic all having recently also played the position in Chilwell's absence.

Further reading