Chelsea will play Champions League football next season after a third place finish in the Premier League last season.
The Blues missed out on Champions League football last season after a fifth place finish in Antonio Conte’s final season as Chelsea manager.
Chelsea’s next manager, expected to be Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, will have a Champions League problem waiting for him when he is confirmed as Chelsea boss.
The Chelsea squad contains few players who comply with strict ‘home-grown’ European guidelines and while there will be plenty of talent returning to Stamford Bridge from various loan spells this summer, many of these players will not meet the UEFA criteria for ‘home-grown’ players, Daily Mail revealed.
Chelsea’s next boss will have to work with fewer than 25 senior players in the Champions League where restrictions are tighter than in the Premier League.
Eight of the 25-man squad for the Champions League must classify as ‘home-grown’ and four of those eight must be ‘club-trained’ in the UEFA A-list.
As it stands (if we exclude players that spent the season out on loan), the club only have four homegrown players, four short of the required amount but that will reduce to three with Danny Drinkwater likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer. The other players that qualify as homegrown include Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek (club-trained) and Andreas Christensen (club-trained).
Tammy Abraham (club-trained) and Fikayo Tomori (club-trained) might have to stay back at Chelsea next season to boost our homegrown quota in the UEFA A-list.
Gary Cahill, Victor Moses and Cesc Fabregas, two senior players who helped fulfil the quota, have left Chelsea this year.
January signing Christian Pulisic is only 20 and will classify as an Under-21 player in the Premier League but will have to take a place in the senior squad for the Champions League because his youth training was abroad.
Mason Mount and Reece James, who were both sent out on loan last season, might have to stay back at the club to help boost numbers. Together with Ethan Ampadu and Callum Hudson-Odoi, they will be included on the UEFA ‘B-List’ – next season for players born on and after 1 January 1998 and have spent two uninterrupted seasons at their club – and will help relieve the pressure.
It would have been an advantage to the club to have eight homegrown players in the A-list while having the likes of Hudson-Odoi and Ampadu, who are part of the first team in the B-list. This would have meant more players available for the manager.
Don’t worry Chelsea fans, our youngsters are capable of making us proud.