Jose Mourinho has a roster headache to deal with after keeping Demba Ba

Shaun Botterill

Moving Demba Ba yesterday would have left very little doubt about what players would be named to our rosters for the Premier League and Champions League campaigns

The transfer window is now shut, and we can all begin to focus on Chelsea's attempt to add to the trophy cabinet as opposed to adding to the roster. Before they can do that, however, they have to name those rosters.

We'll first look at the roster selection for the Premier League campaign that is already underway, as this one is pretty straightforward. We have just 5 players who are considered 'homegrown', and both Marco van Ginkel and Tomas Kalas qualify as U21.

We do have a slight headache to deal with though, as we have just 17 roster spots reserved for players developed internationally, and we currently have 18 players that would require one of those spots. Here are the 18 players requiring international roster spots for the Premier League season:

Petr Cech, Mark Schwarzer, Henrique Hilario, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Michael Essien, Ramires, John Obi Mikel, Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, Oscar, Andre Schurrle, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Demba Ba, Willian, Samuel Eto'o

One of these players is going to be the odd man out, which is one of the reasons that a loan or sale of Demba Ba made quite a bit of sense. Ba moving on would have left Chelsea at just 17 international players, and nobody would be left out.

Ba is still here though, and the man that could have made him expendable has been loaned to Everton. That leaves only two areas in which Chelsea have any sort of surplus, either at goalkeeper or in the attacking midfield. It's hard to picture anyone but Henrique Hilario being the odd man out for Chelsea here, meaning that Jamal Blackman could make a bench or two if either of our other keepers is injured.

The Premier League roster looks pretty straightforward, but the Champions League roster will be a bit more interesting. With the loans of Romelu Lukaku and Victor Moses though, it became a bit easier to predict. The loan of Moses left us with only 5 'locally trained' players, one that qualifies as 'club trained', and four that will be classified as 'association trained'. All of John Terry, Ryan Bertrand, Gary Cahill, Frank Lampard, and Ashley Cole will make the Champions League roster this season without anyone being used in an international slot.

There are two players that will be in doubt, however, as the club don't have the option to use unlimited U21 players in this competition. Both Tomas Kalas and Marco van Ginkel need to be named to the squad, and that would come at the expense of one of the 18 who required a Premier League international roster spot.

Kalas seems an easy one to leave out, as he's an unproven player in an area we have depth, and he's also carrying a long term injury at the moment. Largely due to that, I'd assume he's the first name dropped. Poor Hilario looks like he'll be left out again as well, especially given that a long term injury to a keeper is an exception that allows a club to alter their roster during the group stage. That's two of the three we needed to cut, leaving one spot left for Mourinho to leave somebody off.

This is where things will get interesting, as frankly, there isn't a clear player to leave out from the following group of 18:

Petr Cech, Mark Schwarzer, David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Michael Essien, Ramires, Marco van Ginkel, John Obi Mikel, Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, Oscar, Andre Schurrle, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard, Demba Ba, Willian, Samuel Eto'o

Jose Mourinho could go any number of ways with this one. With the midfield depth we have at the academy level, dropping one of Essien, Mikel, Ramires, or Van Ginkel makes some sense. Van Ginkel would seem to be the player at risk there, although I could make a case for dropping Essien.

Another alternative would be to drop Schwarzer as well, leaving Jamal Blackman as the primary backup*. Blackman is still young enough to qualify for the 'B list', and a serious injury to Cech would still allow Chelsea to make a change before the next fixture.

*FWIW, this is probably what I would do if put in Jose Mourinho's shoes

With Essien capable of standing in at right back, Cesar Azpilicueta could be the odd man out if Mourinho wants to go that route. There's also a good chance the unlucky loser is Demba Ba, especially after the more versatile Andre Schurrle got a start in the middle against United.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, somebody is likely to be unhappy about being left off the roster for the Champions League group stage. It shouldn't be too long before we know who that player is, as I'd expect some roster news to be made public pretty soon.

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