Chelsea have exercised their right to recall Italian midfielder Cesare Casadei from his loan spell at Championship club Leicester City.
The club have confirmed that the 21-year-old midfielder has returned to West London despite establishing himself as a prominent part of Enzo Maresca’s first team set up at King Power Stadium.
Casadei made 25 appearances across all competitions for the Championship pacesetters, chipping in with three goals and two assists.
The ex-Inter Milan youngster has played a crucial part in propelling the Foxes to the top of the Championship table as they plot a swift return to the Premier League.
However, he is now poised to spend the remainder of the 2023/24 campaign as part of Mauricio Pochettino’s severely depleted squad at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have suffered more than their fair share of injury problems this season, with seven first-team players currently sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Midfield duo Lesley Ugochukwu and Romeo Lavia are part of the seven confined to the hospital room, reducing Pochettino’s options in the middle of the park.
Carney Chukwuemeka has only just returned from a lengthy lay-off but will take some time before attaining full fitness.
That leaves Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez, who have also spent time on the sidelines this season, alongside Conor Gallagher as Chelsea’s only fit midfield options.
While Casadei’s mid-season return is undoubtedly a blow to Leicester, the youngster will provide much-needed cover for Chelsea as the Blues strive to improve their Premier League standings.
Pochettino’s beleaguered troops have strung together three consecutive Premier League wins but have only moved up one place in the table, overtaking Newcastle United in ninth.
However, they have reduced the gap to the Champions League places to nine points and will be hoping to continue their form after the winter break.
Casadei is the second Chelsea youngster to return to the club after seeing their loan terminated, following in the footsteps of Andrey Santos, who was recalled from Nottingham Forest earlier.
Unlike Casadei, Chelsea are still open to the possibility of sending Santos out on loan, but it remains to be seen what Pochettino’s plans are for the Brazilian youngster.
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