UEFA rules mean Chelsea face Champions League squad dilemma after January spending spree
- UEFA clarify rules over new signings
- UCL squad submission date looms
- But Chelsea may have an issue
WHAT HAPPENED? Having completely taken the January transfer window by storm and essentially replenished their entire squad, Chelsea have a completely new look heading into the second half of the season. But with the Champions League returning this month, they have a problem when it comes to registering new players in their European squad.
UEFA has clarified the rules regarding new players and updating squads ahead of the knockout stages, with Chelsea looking to include the likes of Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk, Joao Felix and others.
WHAT THEY SAID: Via UEFA's official website, article 46.01 of their regulations on the Champions League states: "As of the round of 16, 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 at the latest. This deadline cannot be extended."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Only being able to register a maximum of three players immediately presents a problem for Graham Potter. Fernandez - who signed for a British record fee on deadline day - became Chelsea's eighth signing of the January window.
Teams in the Champions League must submit a 25-player squad; three of those players can be changed after the transfer window shuts. Regarding a B list - designed to allow younger players to feature - the rules do not apply because although Chelsea have recruited younger players, the rules state they must have played for the club continuously for two years in order to qualify for the B list.
AND WHAT'S MORE: That means of the eight signings Chelsea made, they can only bring three of them into their Champions League knockout stage campaign. Felix has European pedigree from his time at Atletico Madrid, while Mudryk also impressed on the European stage with Shakhtar Donetsk. However, the Blues must still account for £106.8 million ($131m) man Fernandez and defender Benoit Badiashile, who has quickly made an impact at the back.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR CHELSEA? As per the rules, the Blues have until February 2 to submit their altered squad for the knockout stages. They then travel to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of a huge last 16 tie on February 15.