After strengthening their squad, Chelsea will play Borussia Dortmund in a crucial two-legged encounter in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 in just under two weeks.

Chelsea Online News:

Chelsea has until 11 p.m. to announce their updated UEFA Champions League squad list following an eventful January transfer window under Graham Potter and Todd Boehly.

The Blues committed to spending millions on their eight winter signings after securing a deal for their top target, Enzo Fernandez, in the closing moments of transfer deadline day.

Potter is hoping that acquisitions like Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk can drive on a significantly better second half of the season. In less than two weeks, the Blues and Borussia Dortmund will play in a crucial two-leg UEFA Champions League round of 16 matchup.

However, as per the most recent UEFA squad registration regulations: “As of the knockout round play-offs, a club may register a maximum of three new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competition. Such registration must be completed by 2 February 2023 (24.00CET) at the latest. This deadline cannot be extended.

“Any or all of the players from the above quota of three may have been fielded for another club in the qualifying phase, play-offs or group stage of the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League or UEFA Europa Conference League.”

In reality, Chelsea may only bring in three new players for the Champions League. Even if a player played this season for their former clubs in European competitions, they are still eligible for selection.

The squad can only have a maximum of 25 players named, as usual. Jorginho’s removal after his departure simplifies matters a little and brings the current number of players chosen to 23. But in order to make room for three additional players, one more player must be dropped.

The following is the current Chelsea Champions League list of players: Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcus Betinelli; Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah, Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Kalidou Koulibaly, Cesar Azpilicueta, Marc Cucurella, Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Christian Pulisic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Denis Zakaria, Hakim Ziyech, Conor Gallagher, Carney Chukwuemeka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Kai Havertz.

B list: Armando Broja, Charlie Webster, Lewis Hall.

We look at the potential candidates to be cut from the Blues’ Champions League squad as Potter struggles with who to keep.

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READ | Graham Potter issues update on Enzo Fernandez Chelsea debut date
READ | Potter suggests a player who nearly left Chelsea in January may still play against Fulham.
READ | Four of Chelsea’s January signings won’t make the Champions League squad.
Hakim Ziyech

Along with Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, an American winger, is likely to fall further down the pecking order than he did at the start of the season.

Over the course of his time at Stamford Bridge, Pulisic has also had trouble securing a regular starting spot. In the Premier League, the USA international has only started six times and failed to play the full 90 minutes.

He is the favorite to drop out, according to a strong argument.

Carney Chukwuemeka

The inclusion of Carney Chukwuemeka on this list is not a reflection of his talent and may be viewed as unfair, to put it mildly.

Fernandez’s arrival will probably fill a spot in the middle of the pitch. This might possibly persuade Potter to choose a successor in the team that is comparable. Chukwuemeka has also not appeared in any European games this year.

Once more, saying that the two are noticeably similar may not be entirely correct. While Fernandez advances the ball efficiently from deeper sections of the play and is strong when not in possession of the ball, Chukwuemeka excels at functioning in advanced areas and tight spaces.

N’Golo Kante

Any manager who left N’Golo Kante out of a Champions League roster would be quite daring. However, with only two appearances this season, is there any sense in making such a decision?

Kante was among the finest in the world at his position during his prime. After being awarded player of the match in both halves of the semifinal match against Real Madrid and the championship match against Manchester City, the Frenchman’s impact to Chelsea’s recent Champions League victory cannot be completely described.

However, with Fernandez’s arrival, Potter now has a player who can perform tasks that historically have been entrusted to Kante.