Graham Potter rocked by scathing review of Chelsea selection with best January signing left out of Champions League squad
Chelsea manager Graham Potter has been criticised for leaving his best January arrival out of their Champions League squad, while club chiefs have been blasted for the ‘mess’ going on at Stamford Bridge.
After signing nine new players in the summer transfer window, Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly continued his spending spree during January by sanctioning eight more captures. These were David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Noni Madueke, Malo Gusto and Enzo Fernandez. Gusto has been sent back to Lyon on loan for the remainder of the season and will link up with the senior Chelsea squad in the summer.
Those deals took Chelsea’s spending under Boehly to an incredible £490m. In January, the west London outfit spent more than every team in Serie A, Ligue 1 and the German Bundesliga combined.
Potter will be delighted about the unbelievable squad depth at his disposal. He has at least two top stars in pretty much every position.
However, the plethora of new signings have also given him a headache in terms of which players to select in most matches and which ones to use in the Champions League.
Potter recently revealed changes to his 25-man squad for the upcoming Champions League games. Felix, Mudryk and Fernandez have been added, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been withdrawn.
Reacting to Potter’s decision, Football Insider pundit John Wenham has complained about the manager leaving out centre-back Badiashile.
Benoit Badiashile unlucky not to make Chelsea UCL setup
The Frenchman has been Chelsea’s best January signing so far, putting in several high-quality defensive performances alongside Thiago Silva.
Wenham also slammed Boehly and his staff for the ‘chaos’ they have caused with so many new signings, without some of the existing players leaving.
“Chelsea, they are just an utter mess,” Wenham said. “They have Badiashile who has been very good in the games he has played for them. But he’s not been added to their Champions League squad.
“It’s just one example of the complete embarrassing mess they have going on. Aubameyang isn’t registered either and he’s on huge money.
“Mudryk was hauled off at half time against Fulham as well. There is too much going on there for anyone to control. It’s just chaos.
“I don’t know how many managers can work with so many players. Ziyech was about to join PSG last week, he would have done if it wasn’t for a dodgy fax machine.
“Then he started the game. Conor Gallagher was told he was free to find a new club then he started as well. It seems like Potter has no control.”
Defender will hope to make next season’s UCL squad
It is certainly harsh for Badiashile to have been left out of the Champions League setup. He will be hoping to prove Potter wrong with more top performances in the league.
The omission of Aubameyang does make sense. While he has plenty of experience in the UCL, he has looked past his best in a Chelsea shirt thus far. Potter clearly feels he will be able to get more goals out of the likes of Kai Havertz, Felix and Mudryk.
The English coach certainly has a big six months coming up. He needs to turn Chelsea’s fortunes around and get them back in the top six. They currently sit in ninth place, 10 points behind fourth-placed Newcastle after playing the same amount of games.
Should Potter still be Chelsea boss come the end of the season, then he will be hoping Boehly gets some players out of the club. This could include Ziyech, Cesar Azpilicueta, N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic.
Meanwhile, a pundit reckons Chelsea could beat Arsenal to the signing of a Brighton star this summer.