Chelsea will be forced to sell or loan out one foreign player this summer in order to meet the regulations for the Champions League squads set out by UEFA, report the Telegraph.
After agreeing a deal for Mateo Kovacic, who you’d assume would make the Champions League squad when he completes his move, Chelsea have one too many foreign players in their squad. Chelsea secured a place in the Champions League after finishing in third place in the Premier League last season, after the capitulation of Arsenal. However, now comes the difficult decision, who does the incoming Frank Lampard leave out of his squad for Europe’s premier competition? Well whatever decision he makes, it needs to be given much thought. With Chelsea struggling in all areas of the pitch, to choose one foreign player and leave them out could considerably weaken Chelsea.
Last season, Chelsea’s defence was far from stable, as the club conceded 56 goals in all competitions and were on the end of numerous thrashings in the Premier League, with Manchester City and Bournemouth away springing to mind. So, with Everton chasing a permanent deal for Kurt Zouma and Marcos Alonso Davide Zappacosta keen to move away, Lampard needs to think twice about letting experienced foreign defenders leave the club, especially with such an ailing defence.
In midfield, the signs aren’t too promising, despite the permanent signing of Kovacic. Chelsea’s central midfield was one of the weakest points of their season, as they struggled with numerous aspects. With Kovacic signing, Tiemoue Bakayoko could be one of the players sold to fulfil the criteria set out by UEFA. And with a successful loan spell under his belt, and ability to carry the ball (1.8 dribbles per game), leaving him could be a mistake as he would bring something different to Chelsea’s midfield.
After the departure of Eden Hazard, and the lack of goal contributions from other players, Chelsea will need to ensure every foreign attacking player makes the final Champions League squad, or risk struggling to score.
The Champions League conundrum is a tricky one for Chelsea. With the club struggling in almost every area of the pitch, it’s hard to pick one specific foreign player who must make way so they meet the criteria. However, one thing is certain, whoever is chosen, Chelsea’s squad may be massively weakened.