Graham Potter has removed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Chelsea’s Champions League squad to make space for new signings Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix.
The Blues recruited no fewer than seven new players for the second half of the season, as well as Malo Gusto before loaning him back to Lyon, but Champions League rules state that only three new players can be registered midway through the season.
As a result, four players were always guaranteed to miss out, and the unlucky quartet are Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, Datro Fofana and Benoit Badiashile.
The Blues had space for two new faces but needed to clear up an extra spot if they wanted to add all three, and Aubameyang’s name is now nowhere to be found on Chelsea’s official Champions League squad list.
Aubameyang has featured 17 times for Chelsea this season but has drastically tumbled down the pecking order under Potter, despite being the Blues’ only out-and-out central striker.
The Gabon international has not started any of Chelsea’s last six games and, after coming on as an early substitute against Manchester City, still ended up being substituted later in the match.
Instead, Kai Havertz has been Potter’s preferred striker, while Felix can expect a run in a central role given Chelsea’s lack of alternatives in the position.
Chelsea’s Champions League journey resumes on February 15 when the Blues travel to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund in the first lef of their last-16 tie. Dortmund are due at Stamford Bridge for the return fixture on March 7.
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