Amidst the anticipation of Chelsea welcoming Brighton & Hove Albion to the illustrious Stamford Bridge, a captivating question arises — the enigma of who shall assume the pivotal role at right-back for the Blues.
The suspension of both Reece James and Marc Cucurella, coupled with Malo Gusto’s unfortunate injury, as verified by the club’s official website yesterday, leaves Mauricio Pochettino grappling with limited options.
In this predicament, the choices manifest as Axel Disasi and Moises Caicedo, individuals not inherently accustomed to the right-back position. The conundrum emerges — who emerges as the right-back against Brighton, Axel Disasi or Moises Caicedo?
A noteworthy facet unfolds as Caicedo, despite being a £115m midfielder according to Sky Sports, has, in past spells at the Amex Stadium, demonstrated proficiency at right-back. His intimate knowledge of Brighton positions him as a plausible choice during this crisis Pochettino navigates.
Yet, the dichotomy persists. Would Chelsea truly benefit from deploying a midfielder of such caliber in defense tomorrow? The answer seems elusive, leaning towards a negative prognosis. Caicedo, in all likelihood, should find his place in the midfield.
This recurring dilemma echoes — Axel Disasi or Moises Caicedo for right-back against Brighton? The narrative loops back to Caicedo’s prior stints at right-back, highlighting the feasibility of his inclusion during this tumultuous period under Pochettino.
However, pragmatic concerns linger. The £115m midfielder, still seeking his prime form in Chelsea blue, may not optimally serve the team’s interests by donning a defensive role. The question becomes more poignant — does he belong in midfield?
In pondering this, the juxtaposition intensifies. A natural defender, Disasi emerges as a reassuring prospect for Chelsea fans seeking stability in the absence of James. Yet, a stark realization looms — Disasi’s defensive prowess might not seamlessly align with the modern full-back’s attacking repertoire.
This incongruence becomes palpable, as witnessed in Pochettino’s deployment of Disasi at right-back during the 2-0 defeat to Brentford in October. The discerning supporters could observe the deviation from the attacking threat synonymous with contemporary full-backs.
Disasi’s return to the starting lineup after being benched against Newcastle United paints a picture of pragmatism in Pochettino’s choices. A stop-gap measure, albeit a temporary solution, given the impending return of James and Gusto. The hierarchy, when reinstated, must place them above the £38.8m Frenchman in Stamford Bridge’s right-back pecking order.
The essence becomes clear — Chelsea, in the contemporary football landscape, demands a right-back with an inclination to surge forward and contribute to the attack. Yet, the looming specter of recurring suspensions and injuries introduces an unsettling prospect — Disasi’s role might transcend the ephemeral nature of a stop-gap solution, a scenario undoubtedly not aligning with Pochettino’s preferences.