Maurizio Sarri has quite the selection headache on his hands.
Following Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s hat-trick yesterday in the Europa League, he has got a few midfielders to pick from.
In his preferred system, three central midfielders start, and Jorginho and N’Golo Kante will always start for Sarri if fit.
Cesc Fabregas has acknowledged – whether publicly or not – that he will play sparingly, coming in when Jorginho needs a rest.
Danny Drinkwater looks to be surplus to requirements and remains one of Chelsea’s worst signings after joining for £35m.
Therefore, that means Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic are all vying for one spot.
Barkley and Kovacic have been splitting time so far this season, although Barkley has been coming into form recently.
The former Everton man has scored two in his last two, and has played twice for the England national side.
Whilst Kovacic has played well, he has lacked an end product – he’s not scored now for 21 months.
And after returning from injury, Loftus-Cheek looked excellent against an admittedly poor BATE Borisov.
So how does Sarri balance his midfield with all three pushing to start?
I think Kovacic will continue to start in the short-term, although if he can’t find his goal-scoring touch, he may suffer as a result.
Barkley deserves to be starting due to his recent purple patch, but Loftus-Cheek may find himself as the odd man out.
Although he’s a fan-favourite, it is yet to be seen whether he’s a Sarri-type of player, and therefore may have to settle for appearances in the Europa League and EFL Cup.