A top football club in one of the five major leagues in Europe typically plays between 50 to 60 games in a regular season. That is because apart from their league engagements, they also compete in various domestic tournaments and in Europe.
Last season, treble-winning Bayern Munich played 52 games in four different competitions. The corresponding numbers for Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan were 59, 57, 51, 52 and 54 respectively. All these teams finished in the top-two in their respective leagues and made the quarter-finals in at least one of the domestic or European Cup tournaments they competed in.
Top five football clubs with the strongest squad depth
Thus, it is quite apparent that to stay competitive in all tournaments at the business end of a season, a football club needs to have adequate depth in their ranks. Key players in the team need to be suitably rested so that they do not suffer from burnout or exhaustion at the end of a long season when they are needed the most.
Over the years, it has been seen that the most consistent teams across the continent's top five football leagues and in European competitions have had quality and sufficient cover in all positions on the pitch. On that note, let us have a look at the five best football clubs in Europe with the strongest squad depth.
#5 Inter Milan
Antonio Conte's Inter Milan have one of the most balanced rosters in European club football.
The Nerazzurri had an impressive domestic and European campaign last season, finishing just a point adrift of champions Juventus and falling short in a five-goal thriller against Sevilla in the Europa League final.
Inter's long-serving custodian Samir Handanovic, who kept 13 clean sheets in the Serie A last campaign, is undoubtedly the Milan club's rock as the last line of their defence. In 34-year-old Daniele Padelli, the Nerazzurri have a capable campaigner to take over if Handanovic is injured or needs to be rested for key games.
The 18-time Serie A champions have one of the finest defences in European club football.
Their centre-back trio of Stefan de Vrij, Milan Skriniar and Atletico-import Diego Godin form a formidable rearguard ably shielded by the fabulous Marcelo Brozovic. In Andrea Ranocchia, Under-21 sensation Lorenzo Pirala, new Atalanta signing Alessandro Bastoni, Inter Milan have decent cover in the centre of their defence.
The Inter full-backs Danilo d'Ambrosio and Ashley Young provide width to the Inter attack while also fulfilling defensive obligations, with the side possessing good backup in the form of Kwadwo Asamoah and the versatile new arrival Achraf Hakimi.
Inter's midfield is brimming with quality. The Italian football club have Brozovic pulling an impressive shift along with Roberto Gagliardini as capable defensive midfielders. The Nerazzurri also have the likes of Nicolo Barella, Antonio Candreva, Stefano Sensi, Christian Eriksen and new arrival Arturo Vidal.
The forward line of the Italian giants consists of two of the most prolific strikers in world football in the form of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez while Alexis Sanchez, despite his recent indifferent recent form, is a quality backup.
After impressively finishing in fourth place last season despite a bevvy of academy players in their roster, Chelsea have plunged into the transfer market this summer and have embarked on one of the most expensive squad overhauls in modern football history.
The Bundesliga duo of attacking midfielder Kai Havertz and striker Timo Werner, along with Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell and Ajax's right-winger Hakim Ziyech, arrived for a cumulative transfer of €223 million. Couple that with the Ligue 1 defensive pair of Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva joining on a free transfer, the English football club managed to add significant depth in key areas of their squad.
Except for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has struggled massively with his form and confidence, Chelsea have decent backup in almost all other positions.
Werner, along with the returning Michy Batshuayi, brings proven quality and adds significant bite to Chelsea's striking duo of Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud, with the German slotting right into the London football club's starting line-up.
In midfield, Havertz complements the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Willian, N'Golo Kante and Jorginho while there is decent backup in the form of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus Cheek.
Chelsea's embattled defence, which conceded goals galore last season, has been significantly strengthened by the additions of Chilwell, Sarr and Silva as the London club looks for a better campaign than last season.