Chelsea will be without a new loan contract with Joao Felix for the trip to Liverpool eight days after the red card in the debut — far from an ideal first impression.
The Blues are continuing to spend money after Todd Boly and his consortium acquired Felix from Atletico Madrid this month as part of a £9 million loan deal until the end of the season.
He was included in Graham Potter’s starting line-up at the earliest opportunity when Chelsea made the trip to Fulham on Thursday, but it was not the dream debut he had hoped for.
Felix was clearly keen to make an impact, but he went too far, throwing a reckless challenge to Kenny Tete in the second half, and received a straight red card, leaving Chelsea with 10 players.
Potter’s misfortunes were compounded by the 2-1 defeat to Fulham, and he will now be without his new loanee for the next three games, including a trip to Liverpool on January 21.
Chelsea will face Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Fulham in the next three Premier League matches, and Felix is not available for selection at all, which turned out to be an expensive decision.
Potter could not complain about the referee’s decision and complained about another failure in the match, in which Denis Zakaria also withdrew with an injury: “It was a forward tackle, there was no malicious intent in it, but I understand why it was red.
“This is another blow, the hits keep coming at the moment. He was really good, you could see his quality in the game, so it’s doubly disappointing for us.”
Chelsea currently have one win in their last eight games in all competitions.