Chelsea are on our way to America for this summer’s preseason tour, and if we were aiming to take a reduced squad to help us focus for the rest of the preparations ahead of the new season, we have failed miserably already. No fewer than 29 players got on the plane this morning, with at least one more, Reece James, set to join up shortly.
I suppose we have plenty of games to play (five, to be exact, in two weeks) so there should be minutes and opportunities for everyone.
James missed the flight as he’s feeling unwell. Other absentees are more concerning, most notably Wesley Fofana, who has picked up (yet another) knee injury for which he’s going to need some scans. Benoît Badiashile, Marcus Bettinelli, and Armando Broja also miss out to “continue their respective recoveries from injury”, as per the official line. That’s a bit surprising in Broja’s case as he’s been back for several weeks now (even before the official first-team return date) and surely would indicate that we’re targeting a loan for him.
Speaking of loan-targeting, Omari Hutchinson and Harvey Vale are the two high profile names to miss out from among the youth. Hopefully they indeed find appropriate loan opportunities soon. The lower divisions starts their seasons a week or two earlier than most!
On a more positive outlook, it’s great to see Lewis Hall, Ian Maatsen, Mason Burstow, and Cesare Casadei, among others, coming along.
The traveling squad of 29+1, in full, is as follows:
GOALKEEPERS (5): Arrizabalaga, Slonina, Bergström, Beach, Cumming
DEFENDERS (9+1): Silva, Chalobah, Chilwell, Cucurella, Gusto, Humphreys, Colwill, Maatsen, Gilchrist, James (joining later)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Enzo, Gallagher, Chukwuemeka, Santos, Casadei, Hall
FORWARDS (9): Mudryk, Sterling, Madueke, Ângelo, Moreira, Jackson, Nkunku, Burstow, Richards (“training only”)