In pictures: Aston Villa v Chelsea
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Chelsea could ask Everton to take Lucas Digne on loan for the rest of the season if they opt against recalling two of their loanees as cover for Ben Chilwell, according to reports. The Blues have been rocked by the news that the England international full-back will require surgery on his knee after he damaged his ACL in the 4-0 Champions League thrashing of Juventus in November.
Chelsea have been reluctant to jump to the decision since the injury was sustained, instead allowing Chilwell some time to recover.
But after some light jogging, Chelsea have been advised that the left-back goes under the knife in a bid to speed up his recovery.
Chilwell is now expected to miss the rest of the season, meaning Chelsea need to devise a Plan B.
While Marcos Alonso has slotted in, he has proved unreliable at times this season.
Goal are now reporting that Chelsea will potentially weigh up recalling loan duo Emerson Palmieri (Lyon) and Ian Maatsen (Coventry City).
Both would be able to ease the current overreliance on Alonso for the rest of the season.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Saul Niguez have also been helping the Blues plug the gap.
Alternatively, it’s claimed Chelsea could now ask Everton to take Digne on loan.
The France international is said to have fallen out with Everton boss Rafael Benitez.
Since then, the Toffees have moved to sign Ukrainian international left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kyiv.
His arrival in January could signal the end of Digne’s time at the club with Chelsea one of several interested clubs.
Napoli, too, are believed to hold an interest in the 28-year-old.
Meanwhile, Chilwell is expected to be fully fit in time for the World Cup in Qatar next year.
The former Leicester man has been isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 but now he is expected to take the next step in his recovery.
Chelsea were not planning to make any signings in January but the blow may now force them into action.
There is also talk Everton could target former player Ross Barkley.
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