After a couple days to get over the disappointment of Saturday’s defeat in the FA Cup final, Chelsea returned to Cobham earlier today, Wednesday, to begin preparations for Saturday’s Champions League Round of 16 second leg against Bayern Munich.
The group included one N’Golo Kanté, as per the official website, who as it turns out was not quite yet fit enough to feature against Arsenal.
Chelsea carry a 3-0 deficit into this match from way back in February, and combined with a couple suspensions (Jorginho, Marcos Alonso) and a suddenly once again quite significantly injury-hit squad. we might see some fresh faces out there this weekend.
Case in point, the Blues have added five new names to the Champions League squad registration B-list (i.e. under-21s), which, unlike the main squad, teams are allowed to modify before each and every game.
Chelsea have added Ian Maatsen, Dynel Simeu, Henry Lawrence, Lewis Bate and Armando Broja to their Champions League squad via the B List ahead of Saturday's trip to Munich.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) August 5, 2020
Most of these names should be quite familiar after a season that’s seen a record number of Academy debuts already, 8 — including forward Armando Broja and left back Ian Maatsen.
Midfielder Lewis Bate was part of the traveling squad for the FA Cup final, having replaced the injured Billy Gilmour in the squad. Henry Lawrence also joined training as Project Restart got underway.
Commanding 18-year-old center back and often U18 captain Dynel Simeu is perhaps the least known of the five at this point, but he’s one of the more promising defenders in the system in some time — with great ball skills of course because it’s 2020.
One name missing from the Academy bunch is Tino Anjorin, who, as far as I can gather, is injured at the moment.
Whether any of these players will actually feature or make the expanded bench remains to be seen, but it’s important for the team to keep maintain the new Youth Revolution™ paradigm even as we once again loosen the purse strings in the transfer market.