As the Premier League’s big four submit their 25-man squads for their upcoming Champions League campaigns, there are some notable absentees for Manchester United and Chelsea.
Having suffered a pretty horrific time with a debilitating bowel condition, Fletcher’s omission comes as another setback for the Scot, if not an altogether huge surprise. Having not played for United since Boxing day, there has been no timescale set for Fletcher’s return. The Scotland captain is still on a self-imposed ban from United’s Carrington training complex, to help aid his recovery.
Essien has yet to feature for Chelsea so far this term, but has been an unused substitute in all four league outings so far. So it will come as a shock for him to not make the cut in Jose Mourinho’s final 25. Loaned by Mourinho for Real Madrid last term, Essien played 35 times for Los Blancos, including 7 appearances in the Champions League.
Having impressed during pre-season, Januzaj’s omission from the original 25-man-squad is something of a surprise. It most likely indicates David Moyes’ intention to loan the Belgian teenager out when the loan window re-opens. Although, if he does remain at Old Trafford, the Belgian can be added to the Champions League squad at 24 hours’ notice. He qualifies for the List B category - having been with United for more than two years.
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