Chelsea have excluded former Arsenal players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Omari Hutchinson from their Champions League squad.
Chelsea named their Champions League squad this week, and it was certainly no surprise to see a large number of exclusions from the squad, but it was perhaps surprising to see Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left out.
Even with the January departures of the likes of Jorginho, Chelsea still only had two squad spaces up for grabs for their seven January signings.
They could make one extra space by leaving out one of their existing players, but no more than that. UEFA only allow three January additions to your squad, regardless of how many players you remove from it.
So in order to get three of their new signings in, Chelsea had to leave someone out, and they chose Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Despite his recent poor form, Aubameyang is likely to be frustrated by this exclusion, given Champions League football was part of the selling point for joining Chelsea.
The Telegraph report that Aubameyang’s camp are now convinced Chelsea want to get rid of him, and the player is “shocked and disappointed“.
Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Enzo Fernandez were added to the squad, whilst new signings Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, and David Datro Fofana were all left out with Aubameyang.
There was also no room to add former Gunner Omari Hutchinson, who is ineligible for Chelsea’s u21 list because he’s been at the club for less than two years. He would have been eligible for Arsenal’s u21 list in the Europa League if he’d stayed.
With Chelsea also having exited the FA Cup and the League Cup, and both Aubameyang and Hutchinson failing to secure January transfers, their only route to senior football this season is now through the Premier League.
Neither player was included in Graham Potter’s Premier League squad against Fulham on Friday.