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Can Chelsea’s new signings play in the Champions League?

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Chelsea were immensely busy in the January transfer window, bringing in eight new players, but can they use their new signings in the Champions League this season?

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With the season not going well for the club, owner Todd Boehly decided to give Graham Potter his full backing and splash the cash at the start of 2023, spending just under £300m.

Malo Gusto has immediately returned to Lyon on loan while Andrey Santos and David Datro Fofana are very much signings for the future, but the other five players – Enzo Fernandez, Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, Nono Madueke and Benoit Badiashile – have been brought in to make an instant impact and help turn things around this season.

However, not all of them will be able to play a part in the remainder of their new club’s European campaign.

With Chelsea signing so many new players in January, UEFA’s squad registration rules presented them with a problem.

The governing body only allows clubs to register three new players in the middle of a campaign between the group stages and knockout rounds, and squads can’t consist of any more than 25 players.

Chelsea used 24 players in the group stage and Jorginho left for Arsenal in January, leaving two spots free, meaning Potter had to choose between only registering two signings or replacing someone already in the squad with a third new face.

Potter ultimately decided to add as many new players to the squad as possible, dropping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to free up a third spot.

It was no surprise which signings he picked to fill those spots with the three biggest names to join in January being added; Fernandez, Felix and Mudryk.

That means that, along with Aubameyang, £30m man Madueke won’t be able to play in his new club’s Champions League matches this season, nor will Badiashile, who has impressed since joining.

Instead, they’ll have to wait until next season to make their European debuts for the club.

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