Broja injury in Chelsea's Abu Dhabi defeat to Aston Villa 'doesn’t look positive' - Potter

Albanian forward came off with a knee injury during the Al Wahda Challenge Cup match on Sunday

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Chelsea manager Graham Potter admitted the injury sustained by Armando Broja in the friendly match against Aston Villa in Abu Dhabi on Sunday "doesn’t look positive".

Villa won the Al Wahda Challenge Cup match at Al Nahyan Stadium 1-0 courtesy of John McGinn's seventh-minute goal, but the big talking point from the game from Chelsea's perspective was the injury to forward Broja.

The Albania international was forced off early in the match and Potter said it doesn't look great, although the club will wait for the results from the doctors before understanding how long he might be sidelined for.

"It was just an unfortunate action," said Potter. "He got caught up with their player and the ground. It doesn’t look positive at the moment but it’s too early to say. Fingers crossed but it is an awkward one."

Broja's injury aside, Potter insisted he was pleased with his team's display as a mix of senior players absent from the World Cup and youth players took on an experienced Villa side.

First-team players including Jorginho, Marc Cucurella, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Broja were joined in the starting XI by youngsters Josh Brooking, Bashir Humphreys, Alfie Gilchrist, Lewis Hall, Charlie Webster, and Omari Hutchinson.

"It was a good game and a good performance from a young team playing against a really experienced Premier League side," Potter said.

"We’ve had a fantastic week actually and it’s been good to work with the boys that are here. It’s been really positive to work in these conditions and we’re happy with the week."

Other senior players, including Reece James, Wesley Fofana, and Ben Chilwell, have been training in Abu Dhabi but were not involved in the game as they make their way back from respective injury layoffs.

"The lads that have been injured have had a bit more time training and they’ve stepped up their rehab so that’s good, they’re getting closer," Potter added.

"We’ve got a full week’s training when we get back and then we have a friendly the following week so that will be good. There’s a few more guys coming back from the World Cup so it’s moving nicely.

‘We’ll be able to have a few more players back in full training with us. Reece James has moved forward, Wesley Fofana is moving forward, Carney Chukwuemeka is moving forward so that’s positive.

Graham Potter praised Omari Hutchinson for his performance against Aston Villa. AFP

"Hopefully Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ben Chilwell can also take a step forward in their rehab next week so we’re optimistic about that."

Potter reserved special praise for young forward Hutchinson, who was Chelsea's most dangerous player against Villa and almost scored an excellent goal when he hit the bar in the first half.

"He was really good, dangerous and asked a question all the time," Potter said. "Throughout the game he showed his quality but he wasn’t the only one. It was a spirited performance with a lot of young players so it was good."

Updated: December 12, 2022, 7:11 AM