Donny van de Beek and Five Stars Excluded from Champions League Squads

The 2023-24 Champions League season is here, with AC Milan vs Newcastle United and Young Boys vs RB Leipzig kicking off the competition at 17:45 UK time on Tuesday, 19 September.

Manchester City will be bidding to retain the crown they won last season, while finalists Inter Milan will be dreaming of going one better this time around.

All 32 clubs in this campaign’s competition have officially confirmed their squads for the group stages, with these now unable to be touched until the knockout rounds, where three alterations can be made.

READ MORE: Who has the most valuable squad in the 2023-24 Champions League?

Chelsea famously added January signings Enzo Fernandez, Joao Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk to their Champions League squad last season, removing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the departed Jorginho in the process.

However, clubs in this year’s Champions League will not be able to amend their current UCL squad until the new year and there have been some notable omissions.

READ MORE: Five Champions League hidden gems to watch this season

Donny van de Beek – Man Utd

Donny van de Beek is perhaps the biggest name to have been left out of a Champions League squad this season when Erik ten Hag didn’t name him in Manchester United’s team for the group stages.

The Dutchman was heavily linked with an exit during the summer, but a move to Real Sociedad didn’t materialise and he remains at Old Trafford.

Donny van de Beek, Man Utd
– Donny van de Beek, Man Utd

Van de Beek, who cost €39 million in 2020, has not played this season and is currently out in the cold at the club. A January departure is expected following his omission from Man Utd’s Champions League squad.

Zack Steffen

Zack Steffen spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, but he is back at Manchester City now, although he has lost his place as Ederson’s back-up.

That title now belongs to Stefan Ortega and Steffen has not been included in their Champions League squad as a result.

The USMNT star may look for a January move if he wants to stake his claim for a starting berth at international level.

Jurrien Timber – Arsenal

Jurrien Timber’s potentially season-ending ACL injury is the reason for his omission from Arsenal’s first Champions League squad since 2017.

The defender, who arrived from Ajax this summer, suffered an ACL injury on his Premier League debut against Nottingham Forest and is set to miss a large chunk of the 2023-24 campaign.

Jurrien Timber, Arsenal
– Jurrien Timber, Arsenal

Timber will play no part in Arsenal’s group stage matches.

Maik Nawrocki – Celtic

Celtic signed Polish defender Maik Nawrocki from Legia Warsaw for €5m during the summer transfer window, but he has not been included in their Champions League group stage squad.

He is out injured for eight weeks, but that is the same time-frame as Cameron Carter-Vickers – who has been included – and less than Stephen Welsh, who has also been selected.

Sam Vines – Royal Antwerp

Sam Vines has missed out on Royal Antwerp’s Champions League squad by mistake. The American was meant to be included in their team, but Mark van Bommen has admitted that the club made an admin error in not selecting him.

When asked about Vines’ omission in a press conference, Van Bommen said: “We didn’t do it well. Vines did belong on the list of those called up, but we made a mistake and it can no longer be corrected.”

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