OPINION | Chelsea’s strongest starting 11

After an influx of new arrivals in the winter transfer window, Chelsea now have a wide-range of options throughout the squad.

Blues boss Graham Potter will now have a difficult task ahead when selecting his starting 11 after the club signed eight players last month.

João Félix; David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Malo Gusto, Noni Madueke, Benoît Badiashile, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Enzo Fernández all joined the west London side for a combined total of €329.5m.

Seven of the eight additions were permanent with just Félix signing on a loan deal from Atletico Madrid. Malo Gusto signed for a fee believed to be in the region of €30m but the fullback has rejoined Olympique Lyon on loan for the remainder of the season.

Chelsea face high-flying Fulham this Friday with Potter’s side looking to make amends after suffering a 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage last month.

The Stamford Bridge club have sustained a multitude of injuries this season. Denis Zakaria, Wesley Fofana, N’Golo Kante, Armando Broja, Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic, Edouard Mendy, Raheem Sterling, Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah and João Félix (suspension) are all expected to be unavailable for the clash versus Fulham.

However, many of the new arrivals will be in contention to start the fixture including record signing Fernández (€121m).

Chelsea’s strongest possible XI v Fulham:

4-2-3-1: Kepa Arrizabalaga; César Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Benoît Badiashile, Marc Cucurella; Enzo Fernández, Mateo Kovačić; Noni Madueke, Mason Mount, Mykhaylo Mudryk; Kai Havertz.

19-year-old, Carney Chukwuemeka is unlucky to miss out in this selection after impressing since breaking into the starting 11 following his £20m switch from Aston Villa last summer.

Whether Potter will want to start many of the new additions straight away is yet to be seen, there may be a bedding in process, although given Chelsea’s injury list, it may not be out of the question.

With a fully fit squad to choose from, the Chelsea boss will likely need to leave out some big money signings and the former Brighton and Hove Albion manager already has a Champions League dilemma to address which will see four of the new arrivals miss out on a place in the squad.

Mark Marston | Get Football

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