Is Armando Broja ready to return for Chelsea? Mauricio Pochettino provides fitness update amid Blues' striking woes

Armando BrojaGetty
  • Broja had suffered a knee injury last December
  • Made an appearance from the bench against Villa
  • Pochettino confirmed striker won't start

WHAT HAPPENED? The Albanian forward picked up a serious knee injury in a friendly against Aston Villa during last year's World Cup break. Incidentally, he returned to action following a lengthy recovery process against the same opponents on Sunday in a 1-0 loss. Chelsea host Brighton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday evening in an EFL Cup clash and ahead of the match, Pochettino confirmed that the striker is not fit enough to get a start.

WHAT THEY SAID: "He’s not ready to start,’ confirmed Pochettino to reporters. "He is helping the team and he is doing well, but he needs time to be fit again to be able to start a game. I think for 20 or 30 minutes he is able to help the team, but he’s still not ready to start."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Meanwhile, although left-back Ben Chilwell made a strong start to the campaign, he got relegated to the bench in the last two fixtures as Pochettino preferred young defender Levi Colwill ahead of him. However, the manager suggested that Chilwell might get the nod in the starting XI against Brighton despite lavishing praise on Colwill.

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"I am so happy with Levi in the way that he is playing and he has shown character and I think he provides the team with a very good balance,’ Pochettino continued. "I think Chilly is going to have the possibility to play, I think tomorrow he is going to play."

"We were using Chilly maybe not in his best position because he was a winger. That is why after we started to play with a winger, like Misha when he recovered or maybe Sterling, in that position, our thought was to keep Levi in the position because he is doing well," he added.


WHAT NEXT? Pochettino will hope to turn around the fortunes of the club in the domestic cup competition against Brighton in front of the home crowd after a horrendous start to the Premier League where they have won just one of their first six fixtures.