Chelsea are set to fly out to China in a few hours to begin this season’s pre-season tour, which will involve stops in Beijing and Singapore and matches against Arsenal, Bayern Munich, and Inter Milan.
While the club will probably release a confirmed squad list in due time for the trip, we do have some important information about it trickling in already, courtesy of Nizaar Kinsella and Simon Johnson.
Here’s Nizaar with probably the six most intriguing names set to be on the airplane later today.
Pasalic, Musonda, Christensen, Baker, Boga & Kyle Scott are all set to travel to China with #CFC for the ICC. A chance to audition for Conte
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) July 18, 2017
Charly Musonda Jr and Andreas Christensen should come as no surprises, while Lewis Baker had been assumed to be tagging along as well ever since Nathaniel Chalobah left for Watford. But the other three are welcome additions, with Mario Pašalić, Jeremie Boga, and young Kyle Scott all looking to impress for an unlikely squad spot in the first-team.
Meanwhile, both Eden Hazard and Tiemoué Bakayoko are set to stay back at Cobham to work on their rehab from ankle and knee surgeries, respectively. New signing Antonio Rüdiger is set join up about halfway through the tour after his extended vacation / publicity tour with Nike comes to an end.
I'm told Hazard and Bakayoko won't fly to Beijing with #cfc squad today for start of tour to Far East. Rudiger will join up in Singapore.
— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) July 18, 2017
With Diego Costa and Nemanja Matić also out and probably for good, here’s a vague stab at the final traveling squad for the Tour of Asia. The final squad may yet include an additional surprise or two since I’m mostly basing this on the pre-season training squad and the players who took part in the 8-2 friendly win over Fulham last week.
GOALKEEPERS (3+): Caballero, Courtois, Eduardo, (Bulka? / Blackman? / Beeney?)
DEFENDERS (7+): Azpilicueta, Alonso, Cahill, Christensen, David Luiz, Moses, Rüdiger, Kenedy (Clarke-Salter? / Kalas? / Tomori?)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Baker, Fàbregas, Kanté, Pašalić, Scott
FORWARDS (6+): Batshuayi, Boga, Musonda Jr, Pedro, Willian (Rémy?)
So that’s at least 21 players, and probably several more. Not necessarily ideal, but should guarantee lots of playing time for all.