Benitez confirmed earlier this afternoon that Jonjo Shelvey is out of the game, so with him and Diame injured and Ki at the Asian Cup, Isaac Hayden is now our ONLY senior central midfielder available for tomorrow’s game – and he doesn’t even want to be here. This in itself just sums up how Mike Ashley continues to neglect this club.
Unless Rafa opts to use the ball playing Fabian Schar in a holding role or drafts Matt Ritchie into a central area, it looks like Sean Longstaff could be set to start.
Longstaff looks a real talent and one of our most promising youngsters at the club, but it is far from ideal if his first league start comes alongside Isaac Hayden in a daunting trip to Stamford Bridge.
What a mess. This is what happens when you try and get away with on the cheap, Mike.