Potter says he won’t use four Chelsea players ‘for the sake of it’ tomorrow

Graham Potter has cast doubt over the inclusion of several young Chelsea players for tomorrow’s Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Potter admitted that he wouldn’t be selecting members of the youth teams ‘just for the sake of it.’

Young Chelsea players train with the seniors

A handful of young prodigies trained with the senior squad ahead of Wednesday’s European tie, hopeful of playing a part in the tie.

Amongst the training pack were Academy goalkeeper Eddie Beach, Dion Rankine, Lewis Hall and Zak Sturge.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Beach may be bumped up the roster, after Potter revealed Kepa Arrizabalaga will miss the Dinamo clash through injury.

Rankine and Hall are relatively familiar names to the Chelsea faithful, but Sturge is a new addition, having joined the Academy last season.

All four could be in contention to play some role tomorrow evening, with Chelsea already through to the competition’s round of 16.

However, despite having the luxury of rotating personnel and giving others a chance, Potter dismissed the idea that the youthful contingent should just walk into the XI.

Potter cautious with team selection

“As I said before, I don’t think it’s time to be just using young players just for the sake of it,” said the Blues boss.

“We have to competitive and be respectful of the competition that still teams are looking for points for their own qualification.

“We have to pick a team we think can win the game.”

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Although this might dishearten the likes of Sturge and co., the Chelsea manager did offer some strong words of encouragement.

“But we’ve used a lot of the young players. A lot of them have been impressive. I like the character; I like the personality,” continued Potter.

It might not be time for the kids to come out to play yet, but surely an opportunity will arise in the future.  

"Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produced regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League. Nathaniel is a full-time writer for the Chelsea Chronicle, and was formerly their social media man. His footballing career reached the sparkling heights of winning the Under-13s Bloxham Tournament in 2011."