Chelsea have unveiled their squad numbers and if there were any doubts about the futures of several players, this more or less confirms the club’s view on matters.
Star signing Raheem Sterling will wear the number 17 for the Blues, while Kalidou Koulibaly takes the number 26. Significantly, Armando Broja (18) and Carney Chukwuemeka (30) were given numbers.
Which makes it particularly clear that Levi Colwill, Billy Gilmour, Ethan Ampadu, Kenedy, Michy Batshuayi and Ross Barkley will be leaving the club, as per Fabrizio Romano. None of the six were given a first team number which suggests departures are imminent.
Levi Colwill has not been given an official squad number as he will leave Chelsea to join Brighton, part of the Cucurella deal. Possible loan but it’s matter of details – he’ll join Brighton. ? #CFC
Ampadu, Kenedy, Gilmour, Barkley and Batshuayi have all not been given numbers.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 4, 2022
The cases of Kenedy and Ross Barkley are separate from the others. No longer being promising talents but mature players without much chance of playing time at Chelsea, the club will likely look for permanent exits. Levi Colwill is reportedly in discussions to join Brighton, although it is thought that Chelsea will include a buy back clause in the deal.
Meanwhile Ampadu, 21, still has plenty of room for growth, but it looks as if he will leave the club on a permanent deal too. Gilmour, also 21, is the only one with a shot at returning to Stamford Bridge at a later date. He is expected to leave on loan, with Everton interested in being his destination.