UEFA have posted the official Chelsea squad for the Europa League and while it looks to be a chance for a lot of B-teamers to play, some notable names are missing.
For players like Gary Cahill, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Andreas Christensen and Victor Moses, all of whom are in the squad, Thursday nights still look like a way to earn Maurizio Sarri’s trust and someday break into his preferred eleven.
But what about Danny Drinkwater? The £35m-man has been left out, as have Lucas Piazon and Rob Green. DD’s chances of catching coach’s eye are now down to just the League Cup and the FA Cup. His prospects were bleak already, and a January loan (or sale) now seems even more likely. Sarri gave Drinkwater playing time in the preseason and it’s looking pretty obvious that he doesn’t see a good fit for the former Premier League winner. It sure looks like he’s fallen to the bottom of the midfield pecking order.
Another name missing from the posted list is Callum Hudson-Odoi. But there’s no need to panic. As a B List youth player, he can (and probably will be) be added anytime up to the day before a match. Piazon doesn’t qualify for the B List, so he’s out of luck. Neither does Ethan Ampadu — he’s young enough, but he’s not been at the club for the required minimum of two years (after age 15) yet, so he has to be registered as a full-fledged senior non-homegrown player. That he gets the nod over Drinkwater is certainly telling. Similarly, young Marcin Bulka (who just completed his two-year requirement this summer) will serve as the third goalkeeper off the B List.
Here’s the complete squad.
Non-HG (17): Alonso, Ampadu, Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Caballero, David Luiz, Emerson, Giroud, Hazard, Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic, Morata, Pedro, Rudiger, Willian, Zappacosta
HG, club-trained (2): Christensen, Loftus-Cheek
HG, association-trained (4): Barkley, Cahill, Fabregas, Moses
List B (2+): Bulka, Hudson-Odoi, etc.
Or if you’re a visual learner: