Chelsea have called up highly rated teenager Dujon Sterling to their Champions League squad ahead of Wednesday evening’s group match against Roma.
The Blues currently top the standings in Group C thanks to their victory away to Atletico Madrid last time out, though must take on Serie A side Roma without a host of first-team stars.
N’Golo Kante picked up a hamstring injury while on international duty with France, Alvaro Morata remains a doubt and Victor Moses was forced off against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
It is Moses’ unexpected absence that has seen Sterling added to Chelsea’s B list, as per UEFA.com, and the 17-year-old is now eligible to be in the matchday squad against Roma.
What is the B list?
The B list is for ‘locally trained players’ – those who have been on the club’s books for three years between the ages of 15 and 21, or the books of another club from the same association.
It can feature an unlimited number of players, though the list must be submitted no later than midnight the day before a match.
Although he has played in a variety of positions for Chelsea’s youth teams, Sterling is seen as being a perfect fit for the right wing-back role in Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 system.
It is where he made his debut for the club, against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup, as he replaced Davide Zappacosta with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
Although Chelsea have other options in the position – such as Cesar Azpilicueta – Sterling appears to be the most natural backup to Zappacosta at RWB.
Sterling was involved in Tuesday’s open training session, along with other academy starlets Ethan Ampadu and Kyle Scott. Scott is also on the B list, as are Andreas Christensen, Jake Clarke-Salter and Charly Musonda.
It has also caused some to question exactly how long Moses will be out of action for, with some reports claiming 4-6 weeks – a period that would probably see him miss the remainder of the Champions League group stages.