Chelsea’s takeaways from the international break

The international break had a lot to take in for Chelsea.

The Blues had plenty of players on show all across the globe, with many taking the chance to get away from their domestic struggles and strut their stuff on the international stage.

Here are five takeaways for Chelsea from the March international break.

Kepa ArrizabalagaKepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa had a mixed break / Stu Forster/GettyImages

If you want a good summary of Kepa Arrizabalaga, look no further than his two outings for Spain this week.

Against Norway in the first game, Kepa was excellent. Spain may have won 3-0 but the gulf in quality was nowhere near as significant as that scoreline would suggest and the stopper played a huge role in ensuring the Scandinavian side did not force their way back into the game.

Just a few days later, and Kepa was back to his frustrating ways. Poor passing from the back and unconvincing shot-stopping offered a stark reminder of the gamble Chelsea take every time he is named in the team sheet. You never know which version of him you will get.

Noni MaduekeNoni Madueke

Madueke shone in Under-21 action / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages

With Chelsea still looking for some consistent success from their forward line, Noni Madueke and Christian Pulisic both seized their chances to impress Graham Potter.

Beginning with Madueke, who has played just six minutes across Chelsea’s last four Premier League games, the January signing came off the bench for England Under-21s and terrorised a France side regularly hailed as one of the best in the youth scene. One goal and two assists in just 24 minutes tells a story in itself.

Pulisic also produced a heroic performance in the USA’s 7-1 win over Grenada, also contributing to three goals and sending a real message in the process.

Mateo KovacicMateo Kovacic

Kovacic was among the goals / Pixsell/MB Media/GettyImages

After just three goals in his first 92 international appearances for Croatia, Mateo Kovacic nearly matched that tally as he scored twice in a 2-0 win over Turkey.

The goals come at a time in which Kovacic’s club future is up in the air. With just over 12 months remaining on his contract and no concrete progress over an extension, Chelsea have a serious decision to make as a number of their domestic rivals begin to circle.

Man Utd, Man City and Liverpool have all made it clear that they would be interested in signing the two-goal hero, and they may get their chance this summer unless something significant changes.

Reece JamesReece James

James returned from England duty early / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

There will be plenty of nervous faces around Cobham after a number of first-team players departed international duty early.

Wesley Fofana kicked things off by pulling out of the France squad with a hamstring injury, before a similar issue sent Reece James packing from the England squad. Illness also took its toll on Kai Havertz, who had to return from the Germany camp.

Chelsea play Aston Villa on Saturday, leaving those stricken players with a real race against time.

Enzo FernandezEnzo Fernandez

Fernandez was among the goals / Hernan Cortez/GettyImages

Chelsea fans have been drooling over Enzo Fernandez since his January transfer from Benfica.

The midfield maestro has been excellent for his new club and he made a real mark for his country as he netted a glorious goal in Argentina’s 7-0 win over Curacao.

The 22-year-old has started each of his nine appearances for Chelsea so far and, with form like this, he won’t be giving up that spot anytime soon.

LISTEN NOW

On this edition of Son of Chelsea, part of the 90min podcast network, Daniel Childs examines what Thomas Tuchel’s move to Bayern Munich could mean for Chelsea.

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