Chelsea face yet another scare in the form of Romeo Lavia's long term injury

Pochettino unleashes fiery rant over Romeo Lavia’s absence at Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino has expressed his frustration at the delayed debut of Chelsea’s £58 million signing, Romeo Lavia, in a fiery rant, adding that the football season is not a preseason or a charitable project.

Lavia is the same as [Christopher] Nkunku,’ Pochettino said on Friday. ‘After nearly six months, maybe he will be involved with the team.

‘He is doing well but he still needs time for his best form. All of the players after a big period, they are desperate to be involved.

‘Even a message for the player… They cannot make the mistake. They want to be involved but we are competition and the competition is serious.

The 19-year-old Belgian midfielder was signed from Southampton this summer but has struggled with injuries and fierce competition in the midfield.

Pochettino, visibly annoyed revealed that Lavia may make his debut against Wolves on Christmas Eve, following his return to training.

The Argentine boss, however, offered a strong caution to the rising star, saying that he must “train really hard every day” given Chelsea’s imposing size.

‘They need to train really hard every day, because they need to have an impact every time they go onto the pitch. It’s not pre-season games.

‘For many things it is an excuse, for many it is, ‘I want to play, if I cannot play I cannot perform’ – you need to understand, but players need to understand it is not charity to play. We need to win.

‘The environment of the player also are disappointed. I am disappointed to have a player who should be important for us not playing.

‘It’s not because I don’t believe in them. It is too many players are training and playing six months and are more ready them.

‘It’s about the moment, today, who is ready to compete and ready to compete and can add to the team.

‘Maybe I am talking too much but come on, it is annoying me. Not you. People around the player, or the player.

‘I am disappointed, the club is disappointed it is investing big to perform and score goals, pay the salary every month if you are injured or not performing.

‘Who suffered for the coaches, for the club. It is to get the right balance.’

After 17 games this season, the Blues are currently in 10th place in the Premier League table. Pochettino has already questioned the team’s general performance, putting doubt on their top-four ambitions.

As the pressure increases and competition within the squad heats up, Pochettino’s no-nonsense approach indicates that Lavia’s path to first-team involvement will take steadfast attention and effort, lest he fade into the shadows of Chelsea’s star-studded roster.

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