ESPN pundit Craig Burley said Chelsea youngster Lewis Hall’s playing ahead of Marc Cucurella in Saturday’s defeat to Newcastle United is a worrying sign for the Blues.
Potter surprised a lot of people with his team selection for the games at St James’ Park as several high-profile players, including Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, did not make the starting line-up.
The manager’s most interesting decision, however, is his choosing 18-year-old Hall ahead of Cucurella for the left wing-back spot.
Hall, who played well in midweek’s defeat to Manchester City, arguably deserved his chance after such a strong display, but according to Burley, it also raised a question of whether Potter is losing faith in Cucurella.
“Oe of the concerns among others would be: if I spent £60million on a fullback, and I’m playing young Lewis Hall, who played against Manchester City in the week, and that player was from the club I managed before, and I know very well, that’s a very worrying sign,” the former Blues midfielder told ESPN FC.
“They [Chelsea] were horrible again [on Saturday].
“They did change the shape in the second half to a back four, but Newcastle were the better side and deserved to win.”
Hall actually played quite well, especially since it was his Premier League debut, but as Burley pointed out, it did not look good for Cucurella, who should have been the first-choice option amid Ben Chilwell’s injury absence.
The Spain international mostly played on the left of the back three in recent games and did not perform well, so Potter might have just wanted to make some changes in the team.
Especially after recent poor results, it is easy to see why the manager wanted to try something new.