Upon the closure of the Janaury transfer window, Arsenal were required to submit their Champions League squad for the knockout stages of the competition.
Arsenal had to submit their squad for the European competition before the group stages started earlier in the season. However the opportunity for players to transfer clubs at the mid-point of the season, means that the Champions League requires an updated squad list for the remainder of the competition.
Arsenal announced their squad for the Champions League and it is as follows:
First team Goalkeepers:
Cech, Ospina and Martinez
First team defenders:
Debuchy, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Koscielny, Bellerin, Holding, Monreal and Mustafi.
First team midfielders: Ramsey, Özil, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Cazorla, Xhaka, Reine-Adelaide, Coquelin and Elneny.
First team attackers: Alexis, Lucas, Giroud, Sanogo and Welbeck.
The following youth team players also make the cut: 39. Tolaji Bola, 42. Kristopher Da Graca, 43. Josh Dasilva, 46. Charlie Gilmour, 49. Ryan Huddart, 50. Deyan Iliev, 51. Chiori Johnson, 53. Hugo Keto, 55. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, 58. Marcus McGuane, 60. Savvas Mourgos, 65. Ben Sheaf, 68. Chris Willock, 72. Reiss Nelson, 73. Eddie Nketiah
From the list you will see there a few surprising faces.
The youth team members do not have their place officially counted in the squad, as they were all born in 1995 or later. This means that although they can be called in by Arsene Wenger for a Champions League squad league match, they don’t have be officially registered on the club’s ‘A-List’. I wouldn’t expect to see many, if any, of these names appear in a match day squad, but at least Arsene Wenger has them available if really desperate times hit us.
Bellerin and Iwobi also make the ‘B-List’ of players born in 1995 or later, however they are of course two players who are fully expected to take part in Arsenal’s knockout round tie against Bayern Munich.
Interestingly Carl Jenkinson doesn’t make the cut, which is a surprise given that the player didn’t leave Arsenal in January as expected. Perhaps Arsene Wenger was preparing for him to leave in the window, but it seems that despite having his services available to Arsenal, Wenger has no interest in playing him in the Champions League. To be honest I’m quite surprised that Debuchy made the squad as cover for Bellerin, instead of Jenkinson. It seems like Jenkinson’s Arsenal career is done and dusted.
It should also be noted that Arsenal’s only January signing Cohen Bramell also failed to be named in the squad.
Lastly one name who I think will surprise many is Yaya Sanogo. In previous seasons Sanogo has been listed in the squad due to his availability to join the B-List players, however this season Arsene Wenger has made him a named player in the official A-List squad. Sanogo has spent a long time out with injury concerns, as well as a few stints on loan to both Ajax and Charlton. He hasn’t however impressed at all and I’m surprised he’s still a member of the Arsenal squad, let alone getting named in the Champions League.
Once again I suppose he’s an option that Wenger can call upon in dramatic times, but don’t expect to be seeing Sanogo lining up against Bayern Munich anytime soon.
So that’s the Champions League squad in full. A few surprise inclusions and one quite surprising omission. At the end of the day however, after a relatively quiet transfer window, it’s pretty much the same side that we are all so familiar with.