Romeo Lavia has posted a positive message online as the Chelsea midfielder continues to recover from an injury that has seen him not yet play for the club. Having signed from Southampton in a big-money deal over the summer, arriving in the same week as Moises Caicedo, the teenager has had a frustrating start to life in blue.
The Belgian prodigy suffered a hamstring injury last season between late August and October meaning that he could only play 29 times in the league for Saints but given that it was his first senior campaign it was still mightily impressive. He racked up over 2,200 minutes, nearly double the amount Reece James made.
Having been at the centre of one of the big transfer stories of the summer it was a disrupted pre-season for Romeo Lavia as he prepared for a move and that saw him given time away from the first team in the weeks after arriving. There was an expectation and hope that he would be fit enough to play after the September international break.
“He needs a few weeks to be ready to be involved with the team,” manager Mauricio Pochettino said in August. “He is working to try and catch his teammates. For Romeo we need to wait a few weeks.”
Those weeks were then turned into months after he suffered a knock to his ankle in training that has seen him miss the start of the season. The 19-year-old has continued to update fans on his progress via social media though. Just last week his personal trainer wrote in a post: “The journey may be tough, but trust the process. It’s molding you into the person you’re meant to be.”
Romeo Lavia himself has now sent another message on Instagram, reposting an image of himself doing a workout. “Late one,” he wrote alongside pictures of some strength, conditioning and mobility exercises.
Pochettino most recently said that it was going to be a little while before he was seen in action though. “I cannot tell you [when he will be back] but he is still not running. After the international break he will not be back.”
Romeo Lavia is one of several first team players still yet to make a competitive appearance for the club this season with Christopher Nkunku also out. Wesley Fofana is likely to miss the entire season whilst Trevoh Chalobah is also sidelined still, Carney Chukwuemeka has only played in two games, Reece James has started twice in the league and Armando Broja has been dealt a setback since his return last month as well.
For Pochettino he will be keen to welcome back these players in the coming weeks ahead of Christmas, especially with Enzo Fernandez going off on Monday against Tottenham with what looked like a knock. The Argentine has been a near ever-present for the club since arriving in January but was hit hard by a Cristian Romero tackle in the first half.
The Spurs defender was sent off for his challenge but Fernandez looked to struggle from then on and didn’t see out the game. He had a giant ice-pack on his leg after the game too and will be aiming to be fit for the big clash with Manchester City on Sunday.
“Thank you all for your messages,” he wrote on Instagram afterwards. “I am good, working in my recovery to get to the weekend in the best way [blue heart emoji].” Many had expected Lavia to partner Fernandez and right now they may wish to have him in position to come in for the former Benfica man if he’s unfit but the injury plague continues and Lavia’s frustrating start continues at the same time.