Chelsea has made a late adjustment to their Champions League squad despite the deadline passing for the 25-man squad to be named. There was a tough decision to be made after signing eight players in January and it was impressive 21-year-old Benoit Badiashile that was the biggest loser from that.
The Frenchman missed out on the squad due to UEFA rules restricting additions to just three new players after the January window. Having spent over £280m in the winter window and three players coming in as more expensive than Badiashile, he didn’t make the cut.
Instead, it was club record signing Enzo Fernandez that was added alongside exciting winger Mykhailo Mudryk and loanee Joao Felix. The decision seemed to boil down to a pick between Felix and Badiashile with the Portuguese forward preferred.
Given the added energy and impetus he has given the Chelsea attack when available, Graham Potter has perhaps already been vindicated in this call but it is a harsh call for Badiashile after he kept three clean sheets in a row at the start of his Stamford Bridge career.
The defender did have his toughest outing yet against West Ham but still looks to have formed the best partnership under Potter with Thiago Silva.
It is outside of the 25-man squad that the new addition has come through. UEFA allows an unlimited amount of changes to the B-list as long as players meet the requirements of being under-21 and also have also been eligible to play for the club for two years. This, therefore, rules out players such as Mudryk, Badiashile, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana, or Fernandez despite them being the right age.
Already in the squad from the B-list are Lewis Hall, Armando Broja, and Charlie Webster. That trio has now been joined by goalkeeper Lucas Bergstrom. The academy graduate had been on his first senior loan at Peterborough before coming back in January and it now appears that is due to Edouard Mendy’s ongoing finger injury.
The Senegal international suffered a broken finger and is yet to play for the Blues since the World Cup. He had been replaced as No1 under Potter by Kepa Arrizabalaga before that but the decision to call up Bergstrom seemingly shows that he won’t be returning any time soon.
Bergstrom can now travel with the Chelsea squad to Germany for the first leg last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund as the third-choice goalkeeper behind Marcus Bettinelli. UEFA rules allow for bigger benches than domestic matches meaning that it isn’t costing other players a spot if Chelsea names two keepers as substitutes.