One of the more baffling developments of the past few days was the inclusion of Loic Remy in Chelsea’s official Premier League squad, with the 30-year-old striker’s contract canceled by mutual agreement (allowing him to join Las Palmas in Spain) on the same day as when the league released the official lists for all 20 teams. Remy thus took up one of the 17 allowed non-homegrown spots, and with another spot “wasted” on Diego Costa (though backed by better reasoning), there was no space left for a certain Baba Rahman, who ended up staying with the team after a few rumors of a Schalke return over the summer.
That decision was explained away by the assumption that Baba’s recovery was not going as well as hoped — that’s what Schalke were saying in any case — but just a few days later, the 23-year-old left back was seemingly a full participant in first-team training, joining new boys Danny Drinkwater and Kylian Hazard while a good portion of the squad were still busy with international commitments. Baba suffered an ACL and meniscus tear back in January and was not expected to contribute for a few months more yet at the earliest, but he seems to be doing well enough already to take more than just light fitness work on the side.
And just by virtue of being at Cobham, he’s already more useful than either Remy or Costa. But with the squad submitted already, Chelsea are stuck with that decision.
Or are we?
As reported by Watford’s official website, it would appear that the Premier League granted special dispensation to Watford to remedy a very similar situation, after they loaned out Nordin Amrabat to CD Leganes on September 1st. In his stead, they were allowed to register Mauro Zarate, who had been out with an ACL since the spring.
Presumably, a similar course of action would be available to Chelsea.
Unless of course we’re set to loan out Baba before the end of the week. The transfer window in Turkey doesn’t close until Friday (September 8), and there are increasing rumors of a potential move to Galatasaray (for either him or Kenedy, who is currently registered) — and since Baba was not included in the Champions League squad either (we actually left a spot open, registering just 16 non-homegrown players), that could very well be a possibility.
Either way, we should be able to get Remy off the Premier League registration list and replace him with someone who might actually be a Chelsea player.