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Chelsea vs Arsenal: The Blues academy stars who could be on the bench for Europa League final

Chelsea look likely to name several academy players on the bench when they meet Arsenal in the Europa League final next Wednesday.

New UEFA regulations mean both clubs will be able to name 12 substitutes for the Baku showpiece, as opposed to seven in the earlier stages of the tournament.

Maurizio Sarri faces an injury crisis ahead of the trip to Baku

The Blues have been hit with injuries to key players in the build up, with Antonio Rudiger, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek ruled out, while N’Golo Kante is fighting to be fit.

Chelsea will also be unable to use returning loan stars like Reece James and Trevor Chalobah due to UEFA restrictions, which also makes new signing Christian Pulisic ineligible.

Maurizio Sarri, therefore, could be forced to call on players who have never played for the club’s senior team in order to fill his bench for a European final.

talkSPORT.com takes a look at who they might be

Conor Gallagher


Conor Gallagher, the 19-year-old midfielder, is probably the most likely player to get an opportunity.

He was recently named the club’s Academy Player of the Year and featured during Chelsea’s friendly against New England Revolution last week.

With Ruben Loftus-Cheek injured, Gallagher represents a natural replacement with his ability to drive from deep and score goals.

Luke McCormick

Luke McCormick has trained alongside Chelsea’s first-team stars on several occasions
@lukemacca_21 on Instagram

Luke McCormick would’ve challenged Gallagher for the Player of the Year award had it not been for frustrating injuries throughout the season.

The 20-year-old partners Gallagher in midfield for the Under-23s and has been tipped as the next Frank Lampard.

He has trained with the senior squad on several occasions, so Sarri will know all about his potential.

Marc Guehi


Marc Guehi was the surprise name on the bench for Chelsea’s final Premier League game of the season against Leicester.

The 18-year-old defender has been a staple for the Under-23s  this season and made headlines with his outrageous penalty in the UEFA Youth League, which you can watch above.

Billy Gilmour

Maurizio Sarri will know all about the talent of Billy Gilmour
@billygilmourrr on Instagram

Billy Gilmour has enjoyed a breakthrough season with the Under-23s after stepping up from the Under-18s.

The 17-year-old attacking midfielder, who has been training with the first team, got five goals and four assists in the Premier League 2 this season.

He is highly thought of by Chelsea and Scotland after impressing for his country’s Under-19s.

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown plays as a left-footed No. 9 – a rare breed
@charliebrownn9 on Instagram

Charlie Brown was the top scorer in the UEFA Youth League this season, in which Chelsea were beaten by Porto in the final.

The 19-year-old is considered the crown jewel of the Blues academy, and could become the next breakthrough star following the success of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

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