Chelsea are just shy of a week on from completing their January transfer business. The £300million sum they spent drew plenty of attention, critique and awe and now Graham Potter's new assets must begin to justify their fees.
The Blues signed David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix on loan, Mykhailo Mudryk, Noni Madueke, Malo Gusto and Enzo Fernandez. While Gusto headed straight back to Lyon, only Jorginho departed Chelsea in January and, as such, it's understandable the squad may look a little bloated.
Already Potter has had to submit his Champions League squad with only three registrations allowed. Headlines have been dominated by the fact that the west London club needed to remove one player from the squad they submitted for the group stage: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
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The former Arsenal star further missed out on Chelsea's squad for the Premier League clash with Fulham alongside Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Hall, showing the competition now for every fixture. However, Aubameyang was not alone in missing out on the list of players available to take on Borussia Dortmund in the tournament's final 16.
Felix, Mudryk and Fernandez were the trio chosen to come into the fold meaning that Fofana, Madueke and Badiashile, who have all been involved with the first team thus far, missed out. That seems particularly pertinent with regard to £33.6million signing Badiashile.
The French defender has already started to form a formidable relationship with Thiago Silva on the pitch with Chelsea yet to concede when the duo have started together. While rotation will be necessary, in this instance it will be enforced as the Blues look for more creativity upfield.
Chelsea do have alternative options in the former of Trevoh Chalobah and Kalidou Koulibaly, though the latter struggled to find form when entrusted with a run of starts at the beginning of the year. It may be another expensive addition that ensured Potter was okay with seeing Badiashile remain at home for the club's European exploits however.
The Blues boss revealed ahead of the clash with Fulham that Wesley Fofana had been taking part in some training with the first and would be stepping up his progress ahead of West Ham. The 22-year-old former Leicester City star has been out since October having suffered a setback to his recovery in a December friendly.
The French defender joined the club in the summer in deal worth an initial £70million and has made just six appearances. Should he prove his fitness in the build up to the match with West Ham, it remains unlikely he would come into the fold given the form of Silva and Badiashile, but after a full week of action Dortmund may be possible.
Potter reintroduced Reece James into his starting lineup against Fulham, while Raheem Sterling and Ben Chilwell both made appearances off of the bench which may even have indicated that Fofana's return will be managed. Certainly 90 minutes feels very unlikely in the first leg against Borussia Dortmund.
However, Fofana will ensure that Chelsea still have depth and Potter will have options to choose from in addition to Silva, Chalobah and Koulibaly for as long as the Blues are in the competition.
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