Chelsea announce Europa League squad, senior midfielder not included
What's the story?
Chelsea have officially confirmed their squad for Europa League 2018/19, and Danny Drinkwater shockingly misses out. The former Leicester City midfielder hasn't played a single minute of the league season so far and is now omitted from the team that will play in the second tier of European football.
In case you didn't know...
The Blues missed out on Champions League football for the second time in three seasons as they finished fifth in the Premier League last season under Antonio Conte.
The heart of the matter
Since his arrival at West London, Drinkwater has never been able to break into the starting XI on a permanent basis due to injuries and lack of favour from his coaches. The inclusion of Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho only meant that he was pushed further down the pecking order, which also comprises of N'Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and Ross Barkley.
Now, he doesn't seem to be a part of Maurizio Sarri's plans at all. Along with him, summer signing Robert Green and Lucas Piazon failed to make the cut too. The latter was included in the PL squad nonetheless.
Chelsea starlet and arguably English football's brightest prospect, Callum Hudson-Odoi, hasn't been named in the squad either. However, he need not be registered as he in 17 years of age and has been at the club for over two years. Sarri earlier revealed that the explosive winger was a part of his plans, which means Hudson-Odoi could get some games under his belt.
The Blues are pitted in Group L along with PAOK, Hungarian outfit MOL Vidi FC and Belarusian side BATE Borisov.
The Blues take on Cardiff City on 15 September, before starting their Europa League campaign against Greek side PAOK. Unfortunately for him, Drinkwater will mostly not feature in either of those matches.