Carney Chukwuemeka hands Chelsea boost with surprise England U20s World Cup decision
Carney Chukwuemeka will delay joining up with England’s Under-20s World Cup squad to help injury-hit Chelsea through to the end of the season.
The 19-year-old has delivered a huge blow to his Young Lions team-mates on the eve of their departure to Argentina.
The £20million signing from Aston Villa will instead help cover for injuries to Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante, who the club fear will miss the remaining three matches of the campaign.
With Mason Mount also a doubt despite returning to training on Monday, a decision has been made to keep Chukwuemeka for three difficult Premier League matches, which has ruled the midfielder out of England’s entire group stage.
Mauricio Pochettino is also said to be a fan of the youngster, who will now travel to face Manchester City and Manchester United in the next week before playing Newcastle at home in the final match of the season.
Under-20s boss Ian Foster will be frustrated at losing one of his most important players and it is too late to make changes to his squad.
Foster has already seen four others drop out of the tournament, which starts for England against Tunisia next week.
Chelsea had already decided to keep hold of Lewis Hall, 18, in similar circumstances after Ben Chilwell and Marc Cucurella’s recent injuries. Man City full-back Rico Lewis has remained with Pep Guardiola’s side who are hunting to win a treble of trophies at the end of the season.
Juventus opted to keep winger Samuel Iling-Junior after his good performances have boosted their late-season run-in to qualify for the Champions League, while Dortmund forward Jamie Bynoe-Gittens has also had to withdraw through a shoulder injury.
Brooke Norton-Cuffy and Aaron Ramsey are in the Championship play-offs and will also delay their departures, along with Peterborough United defender Ronnie Edwards’s arrival due to his involvement in the League One play-offs.
England also face Uruguay and Iraq in their group as they aim to reach a final in Buenos Aires that takes place on June 11. The Young Lions are aiming to emulate the success of the team that won this competition in 2017.