The 20-year-old joined the Blues for €62.1 million last summer after a stellar campaign at Southampton, with the Saints turning a tidy profit on the Belgian.
Lavia had signed for the south coast side for €22.3m from Manchester City in 2022 and Chelsea even launched an ambition bid to sign him in the same window as his move to St Mary’s.
They were unsuccessful in their pursuit, however, and had to wait until 2023 to finally land their man.
It wasn’t easy, either, as Chelsea were forced to fight off competition from Liverpool, who also wanted to sign the talented midfielder.
However, it’s been six months since Lavia’s move to Stamford Bridge, and he has played just 32 minutes of action for Chelsea.
How many Chelsea games has Romeo Lavia played?
Lavia arrived in west London with a pre-existing ankle injury, suffered in pre-season, and he wasn’t able to make his Blues debut until 27 December against Crystal Palace.
The 20-year-old played the final 32 minutes of Chelsea’s narrow 2-1 win over Palace in late December, but immediately suffered another injury and hasn’t been seen since.
Mauricio Pochettino was asked about the young Belgian during his press conference ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Selhurst Park on Sunday and admitted that it will be “impossible” for Lavia to return before the Carabao Cup final in late February.
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 30, 2022
As a result, the earliest Lavia will return to action is March, while he may even miss the entirety of the 2023-24 season if things don’t improve.
The nature of Lavia’s injury is extremely mysterious, with Chelsea not disclosing much information about his recent set-backs and Pochettino often brushing aside any questions regarding his availability.
Either way, the earliest Lavia will play for Chelsea again appears to be March, although the Blues will want to be careful with his fitness in order to ensure he is able to play a key role next season.