Chelsea defender Benoit Badiashile could miss the start of next season after picking up a groin problem during training last week, according to the Guardian.
Badiashile featured in the 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest but missed the subsequent 1-0 defeat to Premier League champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
It has been confirmed that the French defender is struggling with a groin problem, which could result in a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
There were hopes the injury was not severe, but further examinations suggest the 22-year-old would require surgery which could keep him out for up to four months.
The former AS Monaco defender could subsequently miss out on pre-season, which will come as a blow to soon-to-be-announced Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentine head coach has agreed to take over this summer but may have to prepare for his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge without a key defender.
Chelsea’s doctors will run further tests on Badiashile, but the centre-back is certain to miss the club’s final fixtures against Manchester United and Newcastle United.
Badiashile joined Chelsea in a €35 million move from Monaco in the January transfer window as part of plans to increase the youth contingency at the club.
The France international made an immediate impact upon arrival, making 11 Premier League appearances. He scored his first goal in a Chelsea shirt in the 3-1 victory over Bournemouth earlier this month.
Badiashile’s possible long-term injury will be a blow, but it could benefit academy graduate Levi Colwill who is currently on loan at Brighton & Hove Albion.
The 20-year-old has impressed at the Amex Stadium this season. He has proven a solid addition to the Seagulls after making 20 appearances across all competitions.
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi has waxed lyrical about the youngster, and Colwill is expected to compete for a place in the Chelsea first team next season.
Badiashile is his direct competition, and the Frenchman’s injury could allow Colwill to leave an impression on Pochettino, who is famous for developing young talents.
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