Chelsea may get early Christmas present to show Liverpool what they missed

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Chelsea will soon be able to show Liverpool what they missed out on during the summer if Romeo Lavia returns to fitness ahead of schedule. The 19-year-old has been nursing an ankle injury since joining the Blues and is yet to make his debut for the club he moved to from Southampton three months ago.

The west Londoners worked hard to secure Lavia’s signature ahead of Liverpool, who looked set to land him for themselves until a late twist swung proceedings in Chelsea’s favour. He ended up moving to Stamford Bridge for a transfer fee of around £58million but is yet to make his mark as a result of his injury problems.

It was reported last month that Lavia had suffered a major setback in his recovery, pushing his return date back until closer to the new year. However, it seems as though Chelsea could be poised to welcome him back by early December if everything goes to plan between now and then.

Lavia is now expected to be ‘fully fit’ in time for Chelsea’s festive fixtures, according to Ben Jacobs, which will come as a huge boost to Mauricio Pochettino at a crucial point in the season. The Blues will play eight games in all competitions throughout December and will need all hands on deck to stand the best chance of being in a stronger position at the turn of the year.

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The return of Lavia will give Chelsea some extra quality in the middle of the park to see them through a difficult period, in which they will face the likes of Manchester United, Newcastle and Brighton. It will also represent a golden opportunity for Lavia to show Liverpool what they missed out on by hitting the ground running when he eventually gets his chance to impress.

Lavia turned plenty of heads with his incisive passing for Southampton last season and will be tasked with a similar role at Chelsea alongside Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez. The Blues have struggled to win midfield battles on a consistent basis and would reap the benefits of Lavia’s presence as they look to climb up the Premier League table after their poor start to the campaign.

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Pochettino has already described Lavia as the ‘perfect’ man to shore up Chelsea’s ranks in the engine room, saying back in August: “I think we all know him, his quality, his profile. He’s the perfect player for this project. We are excited and so happy to add him in the squad.”

It remains to be seen if Lavia will be able to give Liverpool some food for thought by taking the limelight for Chelsea when he returns to action later this year. He certainly has all the attributes to excel for the Blues but it will be a difficult task for him to make up for lost time, given the length of his injury absence and his lack of match practice in recent months.

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