Chelsea’s Champions League roster omitted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Joao Felix were named, while Benoit Badiashile was not; For the knockout rounds, Chelsea was only permitted to sign up three new players; in the round of 16, Chelsea will play Borussia Dortmund.
Graham Potter acknowledges that leaving Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of Chelsea’s Champions League lineup for the knockout rounds was a “difficult call.”
However, Aubameyang was left off the matchday squad while Badiashile started Chelsea’s 0-0 Premier League tie with Fulham on Friday night, fueling rumors of a falling out with the manager, which Potter denied in his press conference.
In response to a question about whether he anticipated any awkwardness with the striker, Potter responded, “I don’t believe it’s going to be tough since Pierre is a professional.
“He has done absolutely nothing wrong. Just unfortunate for Pierre. For the remainder of the season, he will contend for his position.
“I made that choice. It was a difficult choice. But occasionally you have to make these decisions. Nothing unpleasant has been said about him.
“Because I am empathic, I can relate to his disappointment, so it is challenging, but I have a responsibility to have these difficult conversations and explain my choices as honestly as I can.
“It’s all up for grabs. Football changes rapidly, so he needs to keep putting in the effort, train like he did today, and be prepared to play. That is how the game is designed.”
Prior to facing Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 of the Champions League on February 15, Chelsea was only permitted to sign a maximum of three new players.
The maximum roster size for each club is 25, and Chelsea utilized 24 players during the group stage with only Jorginho leaving the team during the January transfer window. Clubs had until Thursday, February 2 at 11:59 p.m. to inform UEFA of their desired squad changes.
The three newly registered players were unable to participate in the knockout rounds of any European competitions because they were all permitted to have played for another club this season.
Chelsea’s 25-man Premier League roster includes Aubameyang in addition to their new additions because there are no limitations on the number of alterations a team can make. The deadline fell on Thursday as well.
Since their 1-0 loss to Arsenal at home on November 6, the 33-year-old has not made an appearance for Chelsea. He joined the team on Deadline Day of last summer for £10 million from Barcelona, with Marcos Alonso moving the other way. Since then, he has scored three goals for the team.
Chelsea’s Champions League squad:
Goalkeepers: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Bettinelli, Edouard Mendy
Defenders: Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Kalidou Koulibaly, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana
Midfielders: Enzo Fernandez, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Denis Zakaria, Hakim Ziyech, Conor Gallagher, Carney Chukwuemeka, Charlie Webster, Lewis Hall
Forwards: Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, Armando Broja, Kai Havertz