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Chelsea defender Kalidou Koulibaly could be out for the rest of the season

Chelsea interim manager Frank Lampard has confirmed that centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly could be out for the rest of the season.

The defender suffered a hamstring injury in the first leg of Chelsea’s elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid on April 12.

Koulibaly has missed games against Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion and the second leg of the Madrid tie.

The former Napoli defender is not back for their game against Arsenal tomorrow. Lampard doubts whether he will play again this season.

Lampard said (via Chelsea’s official website): “Kouli is out for a while still. I think it will be a tight call for the season, to be fair. He is working away.

“I have been impressed with him. He is a professional. He is doing his job very well, but unfortunately, the injury was a bit of a tough one.”

Koulibaly has enjoyed a torrid first season in England following his move from Napoli last summer.

The Senegalese defender has struggled to adapt to the Premier League. He has lost crucial duels, failed to cover space and needlessly stepped out of his defensive line.

It does not help that Chelsea have not given him the best platform to showcase his talents.

The Blues have been poor this season, weighed down by a bloated squad and blighted by overambitious new owners.

Koulibaly being out for the season may do him some good. It will allow him to refresh ahead of next season with incoming manager Mauricio Pochettino.

However, there are rumours that Chelsea could move him on as part of a major summer overhaul.

Lampard also announced that Kai Havertz was in the squad for the Arsenal game after missing their previous match with Brentford.

Marc Cucurella is out for the next few weeks, while Mason Mount and Reece James will not return this season.

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