"The point is not to sell, the point is I want a 22-player squad. So if somebody comes... Do we need to sell? No, we don’t. Do we need to loan, probably yes because I don’t like to work with big squads. I like to work with a small group of players and I think 22 is a perfect number to answer to our needs in four different competitions, and at same time to leave the door open for some kids to come out and train with us, to be selected in a few matches."
During his press conference today, amid questions about Chelsea's new signing Willian, Jose Mourinho mentioned that he would like to have a 22-player squad. This number comes as a surprise with the signing of Willian along with the continued attempts to sign Wayne Rooney (or a "Plan B" striker). If you count those two our official first team number raises to 28 players, meaning six guys will be sent on loan following the 22 player model.
That leads us to the question of who will be sent away from the team?
Let's start by taking a look at Chelsea's current first team roster as listed on chelseafc.com:
|Petr Cech||Branislav Ivanovic||Michael Essien||Fernando Torres|
|Mark Schwartzer||Ashley Cole||Ramires||Juan Mata|
|Henrique Hilario||David Luiz||Frank Lampard||Oscar|
|Jamal Blackman||Gary Cahill||John Obi Mikel||Victor Moses|
|John Terry||Marco van Ginkel||Andre Schurrle|
|Cesar Azpilicueta||Kevin de Bruyne|
|Ryan Bertrand||Eden Hazard|
|Tomas Kalas||Romelu Lukaku|
Add Willian and Wayne Rooney to this list and we have our tentative squad.
So which six are out?
My initial thoughts are:
-Hilario – opens up one of our international roster spots (in case our new forward isn’t Rooney)
-Blackman – could potentially go on loan or play for our reserve squad for experience
-Kalas – mainly because he hasn’t really played much time under Mourinho and is the least experienced
-Mikel – Mourinho has not been keen on using him as of late, preferring Ramires, Lampard, and van Ginkel over him and when you add Essien to the mix, it does not look good for him.
-Moses – Another player who hasn’t played much of a role for Mourinho, I could see him being loaned out for more experience.
-Ba – with Torres being similar, Lukaku having more potential, and Rooney (tentatively) playing a different style. Ba is way down the pecking order.
If Mourinho does cut the squad down to 22 players, who do you think he will cut?