CHELSEA’S January spending splurge has left boss Graham Potter dealing with TWO main choice dilemmas.
And even a significant squad clear-out within the closing days of the winter window will solely resolve one among them.
The Blues have landed PSV winger Noni Madueke as their SIXTH signing of the mid-season window.
With the £29million arrival of the English former Spurs trainee, the Chelsea hierarchy can have sanctioned a exceptional £181m switch outlay for the reason that flip of the yr.
However Champions League guidelines imply that solely THREE of the brand new recruits could be registered to play within the competitors when Chelsea tackle Borussia Dortmund within the final 16 subsequent month.
Whereas Prem guidelines are totally different, permitting wholesale squad adjustments within the mid-season window, Chelsea have to stay to the required eight “home-grown” gamers and might solely register a most of 17 abroad stars.
Meaning Potter should affirm an inventory of exits or have a number of gamers who’re unable to play first-team soccer for the rest of the season.
And the totally different rules deployed by Fifa and the Prem will make issues even tricker.
It definitely means onerous selections that should be taken when the mud settles on the precise make-up of the Blues squad on February 1.
Joao Felix, signed on mortgage from Atletico Madrid, is a certainty to be the primary of the chosen trio for Europe.
However that might imply Potter having to then add simply two from defender Benoit Badiashile, £62m-plus Ukrainian schemer Mykhailo Mudryk, Ivory Coast striker David Datro Fofana, Madueke and £18m Brazilian recruit Andrey Santos, who’s extra more likely to be loaned out for the rest of the marketing campaign.
And even that isn’t as “simple” because it seems.
Joao Felix would usually be a straight swap for the stricken Armando Broja, with the Albania striker dominated out for the remainder of the marketing campaign.
However Slough-born Broja, a Chelsea participant since becoming a member of the membership’s set-up as a schoolboy, is on the “B” listing of gamers who have been under-21 at first of the season and, extra pertinently, “locally-trained”.
It might due to this fact imply he should substitute one other participant – which suggests gross sales or loans out from the core squad are inevitable.
Madueke, as an English participant, will rely as home-grown for the Prem however not for Uefa, which calls for not less than eight gamers who spent three years between the ages of 15 and 21 at a membership in the identical nation. He left Spurs for Holland at 16.
The belief is that Badiashile will are available in for the injury-plagued Wesley Fofana, not less than for the Uefa listing, in addition to Mudryk.
However that would go away no place for striker Fofana or Madueke, though they’ve each been signed for the long-term.
And within the Prem, whereas under-21 gamers don’t rely, Chelsea’s present homegrown listing is made up of third-choice keeper Marcus Bettinelli, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, Trevoh Chalabah, Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Conor Gallagher and Raheem Sterling.
Successfully, none of them can go away the membership except they’re changed by an English-qualified participant.
To this point, solely three of the brand new recruits – Joao Felix, Badiashile and Fofana – have made their Chelsea debuts.
However the brand new arrivals – and there may be persevering with speak of a possible seventh signing, probably Brighton’s Ecuadorean midfielder Moises Caciedo – imply Potter’s squad at the moment has 28 senior gamers, three greater than the utmost permitted.
Prem guidelines give a hiatus to these rules throughout January, permitting all of them to be registered and play.
However that moratorium ends when the window closes, which means Potter and the Chelsea board have barely greater than per week to get their out-goings sorted and forestall omitted gamers having the suitable underneath Fifa rules to maneuver for nothing.