Chelsea manager Graham Potter has opened up on the decision to drop Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the squad for the Champions League knockout stages.
Potter omitted the former Gabon captain, who hasn’t started a single game for the Blues since November, to make room for Enzo Fernandez.
Speaking on the squad changes, the gaffer insisted that the decision to take him out of the Champions League squad was no reflection on his ability.
“Pierre is a professional and, of course, I understand he will be disappointed. It was a tough decision, a tough call,” he said.
“We had three coming in and two had to go out. He was the one that missed out, he’s done nothing wrong at all.”
Potter added: “Pierre’s just unfortunate and he will be fighting for his place for the rest of the season. He has handled it very well,” Potter said.
“He’s been a top, top guy for us.”
Mykhailo Mudryk, who joined the club from Shakhtar Donetsk for £88million, and Joao Felix – loaned from Atletico Madrid are the two other players added to the squad.
£35million January signing Benoit Badiashile missed out as UEFA rules stipulate only three new players can be registered for the knockout stages.
Other new signings who didn’t make the knockout stage squad include Malo Gusto, David Fofana, Noni Madueke and Andrey Santos.
Chelsea will play German giants Borussia Dortmund over two legs in the Round of 16.