Football

Ben Chilwell’s ‘popped’ hamstring a concern for World Cup

After going a goal down, Chelsea managed to claw their way back to victory against Dinamo Zagreb. The Blues finished as Group E leaders but did not come out of the trip to Croatia unscathed.

Both Dennis Zakaria and Ben Chilwell were forced off the pitch. Zakaria was on the receiving end of a kick while the latter was the subject of a hamstring tear. 

Chilwell’s injury was a serious concern as soon as he went down. The left-back knew about the scare from the get-go and told teammate Mason Mount that he felt his hamstring pop.

Injury big ‘blow’ for Chelsea and Three Lions

BT Sport’s cameras pick up the England international’s response, which left Mount upset. It was a similar response that he shared with his manager as well.

“I spoke to him briefly. He just felt something as he was setting off. He is disappointed and upset,” Potter told Chilwell. 

An initial review of the injury does not bode well for Chilwell, a sentiment shared by Graham Potter. The Blues manager admitted that the injury is a setback for Chelsea on a night that was overall positive.

“It’s a blow for us on an otherwise positive evening. To see him pull up like that, it’s not a great sight. So fingers crossed when we get it scanned it isn’t too bad. It can be not as severe but we have to cross our fingers at the moment. But clearly, we’re disappointed.”

“It’s a blow to see him pull up like that. It’s not a great sight so fingers crossed when we get it scanned it isn’t as bad.”

Potter defends Chilwell’s selection

After the scoreline was locked in and the Blues festivities were over, Chilwell was seen leaving on crutches. It could not have come at a worse time with just 19 days to go until England’s World Cup opener against Iran. 

Ben Chilwell

He now joins teammate Reece James on the treatment table, becoming the latest victim in a long line of high-profile injuries. This has caused an uproar in the English footballing circle with Potten coming under severe criticism. 

The former Brighton manager Potter defended his selection and shared that the English defender was being handled with care. Potter shared that Chilwell’s workload was managed and he was given minutes after missing action last weekend. 

“He didn’t play at the weekend so there was a thought he could play tonight and have enough time to recover.

“We’ve tried to manage him. He’s not played three games in a week and has had the build-up that he needs.”

The latest setback for Chilwell will see him probably miss out on world cup action. Something that was also the case in the 2020 European Championships. In that situation, the 25-year-old had come in contact with covid affected Billy Gilmour. It saw him become third fiddle to Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw.

His injury adds a selection headache for Gareth Southgate, who is already under pressure given the Three Lions’ recent form. England failed to register a single win in their Nations League outings, finishing at the bottom of the points table without a single win to show for from their six group fixtures.