Injury crisis is exposing a lack of co-ordinated recruitment for a manager whose success has come on a budget

Imagine you are Graham Potter. You consider Arsenal’s probable team to face your Chelsea side today. You look at Mikel Arteta’s front three. You are not sure who will play on the right but even with Ben Chilwell injured again you have Mark Cucurella to play on that side of the defence as well as the option of a more attacking wing-back. Then you look at the other flank, where Gabriel Martinelli has been in sensational form. You remember how he embarrassed Emerson Royal and unsettled Trent Alexander-Arnold, how his pace and directness have troubled teams all season. With Reece James out, it is an obvious problem.

Potter has taken charge of Chelsea in 11 games. In seven he has started with a back three and two others, against Wolves and the home game against Salzburg, a hybrid system perhaps best described as a 4-2-3-1 when the right-back was very attacking and the left-sided forward had to shuttle back.

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