The 2017-18 preseason got underway yesterday (Monday), with no less than 30 players at Cobham joining head coach Antonio Conte in the first two training sessions of the year.
The thirty did not include the three major absentees, Diego Costa, who’s been granted an excused absence to work on an exit plan to Atlético Madrid, Antonio Rüdiger, who’s on vacation still after playing in the Confederations Cup, and Eden Hazard, who’s starting his rehab from ankle surgery earlier this summer. As reported by Chelsea TV, Hazard’s cast is now off his ankle, and he’s back to walking, which is good news.
The 30 who did take part including all the other regulars from last season, one new signing, and plenty of young and familiar faces back from their latest loanee adventures. This latter group included the likes of Kenneth Omeruo, Jeremie Boga, Lucas Piazon, and many more.
The full list of players, as much as that can be pieced together from social media posts and the few minutes of official Chelsea TV videos is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Bulka, Caballero, Courtois, Eduardo
DEFENDERS (10): Azpilicueta, Alonso, Cahill, Christensen, Clarke-Salter, David Luiz, Moses, Omeruo, Tomori, Zouma
MIDFIELDERS (7): Baker, Fàbregas, Kanté, Loftus-Cheek, Matić, Scott, Van Ginkel
FORWARDS (8): Batshuayi, Boga, Kenedy, Musonda Jr, Pedro, Piazon, Rémy, Willian
So that’s 29. I think Nathaniel Chalobah was the 30th, but I could not spot him in any of the pictures or videos — *UPDATE* as reminded in the comments, Chalobah picked up an injury earlier this summer while playing for England U21, so that could a reason he’s missing. Incidentally, both Chalobah brothers got injured this summer while away on international duty with England.
Meanwhile, Ola Aina is probably halfway to Hull.
Nemanja Matić I think counts in the 30 even though he trained on his own in the second session of the day.
Being in the squad now is no guarantee of future first-team involvement of course, but it doesn’t hurt.