New Chelsea signing Romelu Lukaku has been omitted from their Champions League group stage squad, the Guardian reports.
The club had to sacrifice Lukaku as the rules state that only 17 non-homegrown players may be selected for the squad. The club opted for their more experienced back-up striker, Salomon Kalou who has been selected alongside experienced trio Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres and Nicolas Anelka.
The squad can be tweaked in January after the group stages of the competition which may spring hope for Lukaku as Salomon Kalou may want out of Chelsea in the January transfer window to get more game-time. January is also the reported to be the estimated time of return for Michael Essien who will most certainly be selected for the squad if he is fit in time, as he is still seen as a vital player for Andre Villas-Boas.
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Blues “too old”.
Manchester United’s first-team coach Rene Meulensteen has called the Chelsea team ‘too old’ in their quest for the Barclays Premier League title, Sky Sports reports.
The Red Devils are currently top of the league after securing their third win of the season with the 8-2 drubbing of Arsenal at Old Trafford last weekend.
‘We are not afraid of anyone at all. City have made very good signings, but we have something they don’t possess. We know what it takes to win trophies. City are still a big rival. But Arsenal have gone backwards, Liverpool are still in a stage of rebuilding and Chelsea have just made one major signing in Juan Mata. Besides, Chelsea’s squad is too old, and their tempo is not high enough to win the Premier League.’
Chelsea and Manchester United will meet in the Premier League at Old Trafford in two weeks’ time.
Michael Essien has expressed his content with his rehabilitation process but is still unsure as to when he will pull on the Chelsea shirt again, report Sky Sports.
The Ghanaian midfielder ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament at the start of pre-season with early estimates indicating that he could be out for most of the 2011/2012 season. Yet the player is more optimistic about his come-back, hoping that it will be much sooner.
‘The injury is well-documented so I will not dwell on it, however I can say I have had a good operation on my knee and I am definitely on the mend. My days are filled with physio sessions from 10am to 5pm and it is a gradual process which I am confident will lead to the results I want.’