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Why Does Chelsea Only Have 17 Senior Players?

You might have thought the Premier League champions, with the added responsibility of Champions League football next season, would be busy adding to their squad for next season.

However, all is not so well at Chelsea, with their first-team squad looking threadbare with less than a month to go until the campaign begins.

As it stands, Chelsea have 17 established first-team players on their books, not enough to fill a matchday squad – and three of them are goalkeepers.

While there are more than 17 men listed on the club website, scratch below the surface and you will see how little depth Antonio Conte currently has available.

A number of first-team players are set to leave – Kurt Zouma has been spotted wearing Stoke City training kit outside the bet365 Stadium as he prepares for a loan move, while Nemanja Matic has been angling to link up with Jose Mourinho again at Manchester United.

Diego Costa is another set to leave, after being informed by Conte via text that he is not part of his plans. Costa recently appeared in a video on social media wearing an Atletico Madrid shirt.

There are also players on the roster who cannot be considered first team regulars – if Conte is relying on them next year, fans will be concerned.

One of them is Kenedy, who made one appearance for Chelsea last season after they were already crowned champions having previously struggled for a place in Watford’s team. Another, Charly Musonda, has never appeared for the Blues.

Take out those five outcasts and youngsters, and you are left with just 16 players with which Chelsea, as it stands, hope to defend the English title.

This includes the three goalkeepers, Thibaut Courtois, newly signed back-up Willy Caballero, and Eduardo, the Portuguese veteran yet to make an appearance.

The defence is looking healthier than previously, with Antonio Rudiger added for £31million from Roma to appear with two of four from David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Gary Cahill.

Midfield too has been bolstered by Tiemoue Bakayoko, signed for £40million from Monaco to replace Matic alongside N’Golo Kante.

Chelsea also boast in their squad the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro, Willian, Cesc Fabregas, Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso – but it is the lack of strikers that will cause them most concern.

When Costa leaves, Michy Batshuayi is the only senior goalscorer left, and having only appeared in fits and starts last campaign following his £33million transfer, there are doubts over whether he could carry the responsibility.

Conte looked to remedy this by signing Romelu Lukaku from Everton – but was gazumped by Manchester United who brought in the Belgian for £75million.

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