Mauricio Pochettino has been sent a major Blues team selection hint following a club legend’s comments on a defensive duo
Former Chelsea defender Frank Lebouef has explained why he already loves Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile despite the duo only just joining the club this year. Badiashile joined as a surprise arrival in the January transfer window in a £35million deal from AS Monaco with the Blues spending big just five months prior on defenders Wesley Fofana and Kalidou Koulibaly.
Despite only arriving in the summer of 2022, it is extremely unlikely that the aforementioned duo play for the Blues this season with Koulibaly sold and Fofana suffering a long-term injury. As a result of the latter, the Blues decided to sign Disasi in the summer for £37million also from Monaco and he has already become a key member of Mauricio Pochettino’s squad having played every minute in all competitions this season.
Disasi has been partnered in the centre of defence by Thiago Silva with Badiashile yet to play a single minute under Pochettino after suffering an injury, he is yet to return from, last season. The France international has been back in training but given his lengthy lay-off and slight setback suffered last month, it is unclear when he will make his playing comeback.
Nonetheless, Chelsea have looked solid defensively with Levi Colwill forming a key part of the defence at left-back, despite shining for Brighton centrally in a loan spell last year. Pochettino has been questioned for his use of Colwill but it has thus far provided more positives than negatives.
The 20-year-old is a solid defender in his own right and his passing range perhaps can be utilised better out wide with his exquisite pass into Mykhailo Mudryk for his first Chelsea goal against Fulham, highlighting that fact. Pochettino is also clearly a huge fan of him in the role judging by his answer to whether Ben Chilwell would play against Brighton in the Carabao Cup after missing the two games prior.
“I am so happy with Levi and the way he is playing. He is showing character and is providing the team with a very good balance.” For Leboeuf, it is two other Chelsea defenders he appears happy with in Badiashile and Disasi with the 55-year-old revealing he will love them more if they do one thing in particular.
“I remember the time when there was only one French guy, me,” Leboeuf said as quoted by Chelsea’s official website. But I don’t look at it like being more proud of the club because we have French players. I like Disasi, I heard him say he wants to make an impact like I did which is very nice. I want to thank him for that, but I don’t care who plays. For me, the club is more important than the players.
“I had my time. Now it’s up to others. It’s a legacy. If Disasi and Badiashile and the others do their best for the club and bring the club to the top we will love them. I already love them because they signed for Chelsea, but I will love them even more!”
With Colwill shining at left-back and Silva looking likely to depart the club at the end of his latest contract extension, Badiashile and Disasi could soon become the centre-back partnership deployed at Stamford Bridge. The duo played alongside each other in France and their understanding of the same language could also help in crucial moments.