The Premier League transfer window is nothing but long-forgotten memory at this point, but the official squad registrations were not due until the end of August, after all the other transfer and loan windows had shut as well. So who while Chelsea’s eventual 25-man squad has been, more or less, set in stone for a while, we do have a surprise in Lucas Piazon getting the nod thanks to the free non-homegrown spot vacated by Tiémoué Bakayoko.
The Premier League lists Piazon as homegrown for some reason (a typo/error, probably), but that is most certainly not the case thanks to his loans to Málaga, Vitesse, and Frankfurt between the ages of 18 and 21 — unlike, say, Andreas Christensen, who was only sent on loan after he completed his homegrown requirements.
As per the rules, a squad of maximum 25 players, with no more than 17 non-homegrown, are allowed to be registered. Homegrown players (HGP) are defined as players who spent a minimum of 36 months registered with a club in England or Wales before the end of the season in which they turn 21. Players who are still under 21 do not count towards either limit, which explains why Chelsea’s U21 list includes every player in the youth teams.
For the first time in recent memory, if perhaps for the first time ever since the introduction of the homegrown rule, Chelsea have a full complement of 8 homegrown players alongside the 17 non-homegrown ones (or 9 and 16, if for some reason the Premier League is actually correct in their designation of Piazon as homegrown).
non-HGP (17): Alonso, Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Caballero, David Luiz, Emerson, Giroud, Hazard, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Morata, Pedro, Piazon, Rudiger, Willian, Zappacosta
HGP (8): Barkley, Cahill, Christensen, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Green, Moses, Loftus-Cheek
U-21 (3+): Ampadu, Hudson-Odoi, Bulka, etc.
Or, if you’re a visual learner:
The most surprising inclusion is obviously the aforementioned Lucas Piazon. The 24-year old joined back in the summer of 2012, he’s had to wait most of the six years since for a real chance to be part of the squad. He made three senior appearances in 2012, but has spent the rest of the time since on loan (another 150 appearances). Most expected him to leave on loan again this summer, but for now, he’s staying and, perhaps, even playing! There had been signs throughout preseason that Sarri liked him enough for this to happen, though there’s always the chance that simply a suitable loan could not be arranged. In any case, could luck, Lucas!