Mauricio Pochettino in dilemma – Malo Gusto or Reece James?

As Chelsea‘s season progresses, Mauricio Pochettino faces a welcome dilemma in choosing his starting lineup, particularly at right-back. Reece James, the club captain, has been sidelined due to injuries, allowing new signing Malo Gusto to step up admirably in his absence. Now, with both Gusto and James back to fitness, Pochettino has a huge call to make.

The Frenchman has seamlessly integrated into the squad, impressing both teammates and fans alike. His performance has even earned praise from Cole Palmer, who named Gusto as his player of the year.

Pochettino has a head scratching moment with Gusto-James

Despite James’s recent return and impactful contribution off the bench, Pochettino should carefully consider starting Gusto over the club captain. This decision isn’t merely about immediate form but also about long-term considerations and tactical advantages.

One key factor is Chelsea’s evolving tactical setup, with Marc Cucurella often tucking into midfield, leaving space on the flanks for attacking full-backs to exploit. Both Gusto and James excel in this role, offering a potent attacking threat down the right flank. Moreover, with James likely needing a summer break to fully recover from his injury woes, it would be unwise to risk his fitness by thrusting him straight back into the starting lineup. Managing his workload and ensuring his long-term fitness should be a priority for Pochettino and the coaching staff.

While James’s quality is undeniable, starting Gusto provides tactical flexibility and allows James the opportunity to ease back into full match fitness gradually.

In conclusion, Mauricio Pochettino should opt to start Malo Gusto over Reece James for Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures. While James’ return is undoubtedly a boost for the team, starting Gusto would provide tactical flexibility and mitigate the risk of overburdening James after his injury layoff. Ultimately, it’s about making the best decision for the team’s success while considering the welfare of the players.

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