Mauricio Pochettino has joked that Chelsea’s owners would ‘kill him’ if he didn’t start Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo.
The two midfielders cost the Blues in the region of £222million and were both named in the starting lineup for the clash with Arsenal despite being away on international duty with Argentina and Ecuador respectively.
While only arriving back in London on Wednesday, Pochettino opted to give both players 90 minutes against the Gunners, putting in a dominant display for much of the game.
It had been suggested that the two players should have been rested given their international exploits, but according to the Chelsea boss, that simply wasn’t an option.
Speaking after the match, Pochettino said: “It’s crazy for players to come back from South America on Wednesday and play on Saturday.
“But if I say ‘OK, I’m going to give them a rest’ you [the media] will kill me, for sure if they don’t play – and the owner also!
“Today Caceido and Enzo arrived after two games in America and they were not fresh. But they are important players for us.
“It’s really tough to arrive like that. I hope now they can recover and train and in one week be at their best.”
Chelsea are next in action on Saturday when they face Brentford.
The new talkSPORT match centre
Keep up-to-date with all the latest football fixtures, results and standings in our new match centre.