Chelsea FC Pre-Season Squad


Forget the dark days of waking up to no football.

Forget the dark days where the only news Chelsea FC fans wake up to is the signing of Korea’s defender Park De Bus.

Chelsea’s players are all together again and that can only mean one thing ……..

Pre Season Has Started

Yesterday the club touched down in Montreal for the start of the training camp before the semi-serious stuff of a few matches on the East Coast of the USA.

On his Instagram account Oscar posted this picture of the squad (and Jose) all looking relaxed and happy on the flight to Montreal.

The games themselves are part of the grandly named International Champions Cup. Chelsea FC’s opponents in the land of the free will be New York Red Bulls in New Jersey, Paris Saint-Germain in Charlotte, NC, and Barcelona in Washington DC.

The Pride Of London will have match summaries and reports from our stateside writers, so make sure you’re following and don’t miss a kick from all the games stateside.

The Blues squad that’s flown out is filled with our Premier League winning players from last year, plus a couple of surprise inclusions and omissions, and a few of our all-conquering youth stars. This mix throws up a few questions about who is staying and who is going, so let’s see if we can glean any concrete information about what the 1st team squad will look like when the serious stuff starts on August 2nd in the Community Shield at Wembley against Arsenal.

The pre season squad in full is as follows:

By ian Minkoff-London Pixels (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Thibaut Courtois /


Thibaut Courtois

Asmir Begovic

Jamal Blackman


Cesar Azpilicueta

Branislav Ivanovic

Ola Aina

Gary Cahill

John Terry

Kurt Zouma

Jake Clarke-Salter


Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Ramires /

Nemanja Matic

John Mikel Obi

Nathaniel Chalobah

Ruben Loftus-Cheek


Cesc Fabregas

Loic Remy /


Eden Hazard

Bertrand Traore

Victor Moses

Loic Remy

Diego Costa

Dominic Solanke

Joining up with the squad on Thursday will be the Copa America players:

Filipe Luis


Juan Cuadrado

Radamel Falcao.

So what can we make of the squad that are embarking on this year’s pre-season tour?

It’s a fact that Jose likes to get his team together early and doesn’t like any disruption to his early season plans, so are these the players that will start the 2015/16 campaign or are there going to be any further changes?

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Let’s start with the men between the sticks.

It’s obvious to everyone that there is only one No. 1 this season, even though he wears 13!

Thibaut has seen off the challenge of Petr Cech and is the undisputed first choice keeper this season despite Asmir’s arrival, and barring any injuries will be amongst the first names on Jose’s teamsheets.

In defence, the inclusion of Ola Aina and Jake Clarke-Salter from the under 19s development squad is a reward for an excellent season. This will be good experience for the youngsters but don’t expect to see them anywhere near the 1st team squad as the season progresses.

In my opinion it shows the faith in last season’s defenders but also highlights the need for another experienced defender as cover, especially if the Blues are going to go further in the Champions League this year.

Midfield is the area that causes me most concern when I look at the squad on this tour. The main men from last year are all there of course, but when looking at the depth it becomes obvious that it is very young and inexperienced.

Nathaniel Chalobah
Nathaniel Chalobah /

Nathaniel Chalobah has had excellent loans throughout his fledgling career and has played at every youth level for England but hasn’t been around the 1st team squad since the pre-season tour of Asia in 2013.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has excelled when given opportunities in the first team so this will be a make or break year for him.

John Mikel Obi and Ramires despite their impact and special memory moments are inconsistent; sometimes brilliant but also sometimes non-existent.

Oscar is Oscar! 2 seasons in a row disappearing for the 2nd half doesn’t bode well for a prolonged run in the Champions League and Premier League. I truly hope after an extended period of rest this summer that he proves me wrong and shines until May.

Up front Chelsea appear to be blessed with talent. Diego the warrior will do what he does best: score goals, worry defenders (and referees alike), and hopefully this season will keep his hamstrings loose!

Radamel Falcao’s loan signing could be a spectacular coup or a low risk loan failure, either way he will play 2nd choice behind Diego.

That makes the 3rd choice striker either irrelevant or vital, and that’s been the conundrum. With Loic Remy’s inclusion on the tour it appears that he is staying, whereas the exclusion of Patrick Bamford would suggest that Jose has decided that he is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, and will probably be shipped out on loan again.

Does Jose rate Traore and Solanke higher than Bamford, hence their inclusion in the squad? Or has Bamford’s outburst about not wanting to sit on the bench destined him for a move away from Stamford Bridge?

So who’s in the last chance saloon then?

Filipe Luis?

John Mikel Obi?


Juan Cuadrado?

Are these 4 players playing for their Chelsea FC careers on this tour?

There’s been lots of transfer speculation regarding all of them but I can’t see them leaving unless there’s an immediate replacement available, or they have an absolute nightmare in the US! Chelsea certainly don’t need to sell to buy these days and although these 4 didn’t set the world on fire last year, they are all more than capable of being good back-up squad players and will be desperate to remind Jose of that.

So who’s going to use this tour to force their way into a starting place for the Blues?

Kurt Zouma?

Ruben Loftus-Cheek?

Bertrand Traore?

Victor Moses?

In my opinion these 4 have a fight on their hands to make the step up to first team starting places.

Zouma is an incredible talent, but can he remove Gary Cahill from the centre of defence?

Loftus-Cheek appears to be a favourite of Jose’s but to replace Matic or Fabregas yet? A step too far this season possibly, but provided he keeps his head down he should become first choice back-up.

Traore and Moses are the loan returnees that really have a lot to prove on this tour.

Traore excelled last year on loan, but mainly as a main striker. Can he challenge Willian for the wide right spot or will he be the main back-up? If he is what then happens to Cuadrado?

In my opinion Victor Moses is the surprise inclusion on this tour! I cannot see why he has been taken and or frankly him actually lining up in the royal blue once the season commences. Maybe he is going to have to see out the last 2 years of his contract in the squad for his home grown status? If so it appears a bit harsh and I hope that Jose does see a playable future for him at Stamford Bridge.

So maybe, just maybe the pre-season tour won’t just be an opportunity for the American members of the Chelsea family to see the players in person, but also a chance for some players to secure a spot in the 2015/16 squad.

There’s at least 8 players who will be desperate to put on a show for Jose and the fans as their future in blue may well depend on these 3 matches. No pressure then!

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