Benoît Badiashile, so close and at the same time so far away / Premier League / J20 / Liverpool-Chelsea /

Benoît Badiashile will he play the leading roles or enter the rotation? The leaders of Chelsea may have slammed 38 million euros, they still do not know it. And at the same time, how to shake up an already established hierarchy through costly transfers? Update on the situation.

Everything seems so far away now. And yet… Barely a year ago, Thomas Tuchel was tinkering – rather well by the way – with Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, Malang Sarr and the only two survivors of this change of coach on the bench. Chelsea: Trevoh Chalobah and Thiago Silva. This season, marked in particular by the arrival of Graham Potter last September and the end of the era of the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, sanctioned because of the war in Ukraine and forced to sell the London club, the hinge of Blues changed face. And the recent arrival of Benoît Badiashile portends a bright future, without sweeping away all the questions surrounding this strange management.

Take the leap…

Managing to turn all eyes on you for a first at Stamford Bridge is not easy. Especially when the meeting opens its curtains on a tribute, that to Gianluca Vialli, former player and coach of Chelsea who died earlier this month, and a nice surprise, that of the arrival with great fanfare of Mykhaïlo Mudryk for 100 million euros, who came to introduce himself to his new supporters before watching the match from a box in the London enclosure. But in 90 minutes and after a solid first in his new colors, Benoît Badiashile managed to do this little feat against Crystal Palace. Aligned alongside Thiago Silva, the former Monegasque unrolled with the foot (97% of successful passes), took control in the air (85% of duels won), was not dribbled once (four tackles successful out of four) and has greatly enabled Blues to add a new clean sheet on the clock, the seventh in nineteen league games. “He succeeded in everything he undertook. It’s a good first for him.congratulated Graham Potter after this short success (1-0). Kalidou Koulibaly has been playing a lot lately, he needed to rest, and Benoît was there. He will slowly adapt to the Premier League. He is a young player who will undoubtedly improve over time. » The question now is whether the 21-year-old Frenchman can do more than help out.

… to better go back

Since January 5, Badiashile has been added to Potter’s defensive options in this position, which until then has consisted of Wesley Fofana, Koulibaly, Chalobah and the tireless monster. If the former captain of Paris Saint-Germain seems to be unstoppable, who will be his partner in front of Kepa Arrizabalaga for the rest of the season, starting with Liverpool this Saturday noon? Potter, the final decision maker, kicking in: ” We will see. The objective is already for Benoît to acclimatise to this new championship. » Few coaches can boast of having such golden choices. Snatched from the eyes of many European competitors last summer against a check for 38 million euros, Koulibaly seems to be the best option. Should settle on the bench the former nugget of Leicester and his 80 million, on the return after a heavy knee injury last November, and therefore Badiashile. So much money spent to strengthen the key? “Rather to ensure the continuationanswers Potter, still in a press conference, knowing that the Double B is linked to the club for seven and a half seasons. It’s good to be able to add these great talents to our team, but we still have to make the right decisions and align them in the right way. » So yes, it seems a long time ago when Chelsea put a big check on the table to attract players to have immediate results. But no, spending lavishly and affording players with long-term contracts could well have its limits. What about dealing with extremely expensive players for many winters even if they no longer have the expected level? Eventually, the leaders could also take a dim view of their coach’s choices, preferring to send the two Frenchies to 118 million on the bench. The management and stacking of overpriced centre-backs leaves room for doubt. Although talented, the two Frenchmen could therefore miss their turn this season. Potter’s damn sweep will wait. Not sure, however, that spending will stop.

by Matthew Darbas