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    Mauricio Pochettino reacts to Moises Caicedo’s difficult Chelsea debut

    Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has defended new signing Moises Caicedo after his difficult debut for the Blues.

    A British transfer record £115m arrival from Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this month, Caicedo came off the bench in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.

    In his 29 minutes on the pitch, Caicedo struggled to get up to the pace of the game and capped off a challenging debut by scything through Emerson Palmieri to concede a stoppage-time penalty, which Lucas Paqueta converted for West Ham’s third goal.

    Pochettino refused to go into too much detail on Caicedo’s maiden outing after the game but did insist that he was happy with the Ecuador international’s performance.

    “He did well. Many positive things,” Pochettino said. “Last minute we conceded a goal so we can’t say nothing is wrong.”

    Unlike Caicedo, there was no place in the matchday squad for Romeo Lavia. The Belgian’s £58m move from Southampton was only completed on Friday and Pochettino admitted that the teenager wasn’t yet ready to step into the fold.

    “It’s common sense [not to start them] because both players, but more Romeo Lavia who was later than Moises Caicedo, have had a very stressful period in training over the last 10 days,” said Pochettino.

    “Many things happened around them and I think to be involved for Moises is good. Romeo still needs a few days to settle in the team and the club. But it is common sense.”

    Lavia is expected to make his first appearance in a Chelsea shirt in Friday’s visit from Premier League newcomers Luton Town.


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