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Mauricio Pochettino said Chelsea’s medical and coaching staff are working to try and understand why the club have suffered so many injuries this season, with as many as 14 players likely to be missing for Thursday’s visit of Tottenham to Stamford Bridge.

Defenders Thiago Silva and Axel Disasi are the latest additions to the list since Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, in which Pochettino was forced to name five academy graduates aged 20 and under on the bench.

The Blues’ campaign has been badly disrupted by the unavailability of players, including several acquired at huge expense as part of a £1billion transfer spree over the last two years.

Notable absentees have included £70million defender Wesley Fofana, who has not played all season after undergoing surgery on an ACL injury, and forward Christopher Nkunku, a £52m summer signing who has been limited to seven Premier League appearances and who, despite returning to full training, will not be fit to face Spurs.

Romeo Lavia, bought for £58m from Southampton, has played only once for the club while Reece James and Ben Chilwell have also had lengthy spells out of the side.

Last week it was confirmed that Enzo Fernandez, signed for a then-British record £105m in January 2023, will not play again this season following a hernia operation.

“I need to be honest,” said Pochettino. “What I can say is that always in a new process and new structure, (there are) things we can do better, of course. We all feel the responsibility. We can do better.

“Too many circumstances have happened. It’s difficult to explain with one word or in one sentence. Of course we are working on trying to improve. We have an amazing staff – medical staff, coaching staff. They have experience in managing clubs and being in this business.

“When some circumstances arrive, sometimes it can happen. We need to now, until the end of the season, put all the information on the table and try to be better next season.

“We need to improve in communication, dynamics, strategy. Everything to do with our knowledge to improve and co-ordinate better.

Wesley Fofana
Wesley Fofana has missed the entire season with an ACL injury (Martin Rickett/PA)

“The quality is here. It happens sometimes with a team. Why do they not perform? We are assessing why. It’s too many things that are all together today. That’s why we’re suffering so many injuries.”

Pochettino paid tribute to outgoing defender Silva after it was announced on Monday that he will leave the club at the end of the season, bringing to an end a four-year stay after more than 150 appearances.

The 39-year-old won the Champions League during his first season in west London in 2021 but has spent time out of the side in recent weeks, and after his latest injury setback could have played his last game for the club.

“He’s an amazing guy and amazing professional,” said Pochettino. “Playing until nearly 40 years old is an amazing career.

“Of course the players, the fans and club are going to miss him. But he’s happy, he’s so proud of his career here at Chelsea. We wish him the best because he deserves the best.”