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Key Chelsea midfielder 'ruled out for rest of season'

:Headline: Key Chelsea midfielder 'ruled out for rest of season':
Chelsea midfielder Enzo Fernandez is reportedly ruled out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on a hernia problem.
Sports Mole

Chelsea have reportedly been dealt a major blow ahead of the Premier League run-in with another player having been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino has been blighted with injury issues to key men throughout the campaign, with as many as 10 players having been unavailable for Tuesday's 5-0 defeat at Arsenal.

Ahead of Saturday's important fixture at Aston Villa, there is the prospect of least one star player returning in the form of Cole Palmer, who missed the humiliation at the Emirates Stadium through illness.

However, according to a report, it appears that Pochettino will be without one of his regular performers, potentially for the remainder of 2023-24.

Fernandez undergoes operation?

As per Argentine outlet Ole, the decision has been made for Enzo Fernandez to undergo surgery on a long-standing hernia issue.

After the World Cup winner missed the 6-0 win over Everton earlier this month, it was claimed that an operation was a possibility once Chelsea had faced Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final.

The 23-year-old played 88 minutes of that contest and would go on to feature for 67 minutes in the encounter against Arsenal three days later.

At the time, it was perceived that his withdrawal was simply a case of managing his fitness with the contest against one of their London rivals over as a contest.

Instead, the report claims that all parties - Fernandez, Chelsea and Argentina - have agreed that the best course of action is for the player to undergo surgery.

Fernandez will allegedly miss as many as three weeks. With the Premier League concluding in three-and-a-half weeks time, it leaves Fernandez unlikely to be risked again this season ahead of representing Argentina at the Copa America in June.

How will Fernandez absence affect Chelsea?

Having made 36 starts and four substitute outings in all competitions during 2023-24, playing without the presence of Fernandez will not be a simple process for Chelsea.

That said, some supporters may suggest that it could be a blessing in disguise, particularly as it should lead to a more creative player being brought into the team and Conor Gallagher dropping deeper.

When Fernandez missed the Everton game, Chelsea subsequently scored six goals. Since Fernandez has returned, they have failed to net against Man City or Arsenal, although it is worth pointing out that he had featured in teams that scored at least twice in six successive fixtures prior to the Toffees demolition.

Carney Chukwuemeka or Cole Palmer should be handed the number 10 role now, unless Pochettino opts to use Cesare Casadei as a direct alternative to Fernandez. body check tags ::

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