The young winger who joined Chelsea from Arsenal has impressed in the Blues’ development ranks.
Chelsea have navigated their way through the UEFA Champions League group stages once again thanks to victory over Red Bull Salzburg in Austria on Tuesday night and find themselves with little to play for in their final match against Dinamo Zagreb.
The Blues have even been confirmed as group winners thanks to AC Milan’s win over the Croatian team, with a certain Olivier Giroud contributing to the Serie A side’s 4-0 result. The Blues cannot be surpassed in the Group E table on the final matchday but may still want a degree of revenge on Dinamo Zagreb after falling to defeat earlier in the campaign.
Nevertheless, with Milan only capable of drawing level on points with Graham Potter’s side, they will have the opportunity to rest, rotate and to try something new. That could perhaps mean playing time for Hakim Ziyech or Denis Zakaria, or perhaps open up the prospect of some youngsters being involved in the squad, while senior stars are afforded an opportunity to recuperate.
“We’re at home at Stamford Bridge and we’ll try our very best,” said Potter of next week’s game.
“We want to win every game we play, that is the mentality we have to have. But clearly, we have a game at the weekend and another game the weekend after, so maybe we can rotate a little bit. But we will try our best.”
Many may think a leading candidate to be involved in Chelsea’s squad could be Omari Hutchinson. The former Arsenal youngster has shown some impressive ability since joining Cobham’s ranks over the summer and left onlookers with murmurs of excitement. The 18-year-old has netted five goals and recorded six assists across 13 appearances in Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy.
However, he will not be available for Potter to include against Dinamo.
Chelsea still have spaces left in their list A squad, but that cannot be altered now until the winter transfer window comes into play. The B list can also offer opportunities for clubs’ young stars to receive an opportunities but Hutchinson will also be ineligible for this. To be named as a list B player, players must be born in 2001 or earlier and also have been at the club for an uninterrupted period of two seasons.
Having just joined in the summer Hutchinson does not meet the criteria. This is also why Carney Chukwuemeka was among those named on Chelsea’s A list ahead of the start of the Champions League campaign.
Hutchinson will not be the only ineligible player, with the likes of Cesare Casadei, Dylan Williams and Mason Burstow also unable to be utilised having joined the club in 2022, despite being young enough.