Current European defending Champions Chelsea have handed shirt squad numbers to the trio of Ross Barkley, Malang Sarr and Lewis Baker for this season's UEFA Champions League and for the rest of the 2021/2022 campaign....for now!
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All three players had failed to secure moves away from Stamford Bridge this past transfer window, and while they still face uncertain futures at the club, they have now been given new numbers for the season.
After Chelsea submitted their Champions League squad to European Football governing body UEFA, it has now been confirmed that Ross Barkley who was a £15 million pound signing from Everton in January 2018, will wear the number 18 shirt (Olivier Giroud's former number).
Meanwhile, defender Malang Sarr has been handed the number 31 shirt. The French defender has been training at the club after his transfer fell through on deadline day. Sarr was close to completing a season-long loan move to newly-promoted Bundesliga side Greuther Furth, even going as far as flying to Germany for a medical.
Lastly, midfielder and academy graduate Lewis Baker has been given the number 32 jersey in the squad. The Englishman has been through a series of loan moves over the course of the last six seasons.
Baker spent the past campaign at Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor, where he made 36 appearances in all competitions. The 26 year-old could still make a return to Turkey, as the country's transfer window is still currently open.
Chelsea's Champions League campaign will start against Russian outfit Zenit St. Petersburg on September 14th at Stamford Bridge, before a trip to Turin to face Serie A giants Juventus two weeks later.
There'll be a double-header against Swedish side Malmo at home on October 20th, before traveling for the return leg. Juventus is next on Matchday Five before rounding off the Group Stages with a trip to northern Russia to face Zenit St Petersburg on December 8th.
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