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UEFA Champions League

Diego Costa, Reus and the biggest stars left out of Champions League squads

18:00 GMT+3 10/09/2017
Diego Costa Chelsea striker
Europe's premier club competition returns in midweek, but there will be plenty of big-name talents missing for various reasons

Champions League action returns on Tuesday as the 2017-18 group stage gets underway.

The cream of the European crop will be thrust under the spotlight once again, but there will be some big names missing from the grandest of continental stages.

Here, Goal takes a look at a selection of stars to have lost out on a place in their respective club squads – with there a variety of reasons to explain their absence.


Chelsea do not want Diego Costa around anymore, and the feeling is clearly mutual.

The Spain international was, however, to miss out on a summer move - despite clamouring for a return to Atletico Madrid - and will form no part of Antonio Conte’s European plans as he remains AWOL in Brazil.


One of the most highly-rated performers in European football, but Marco Reus is a man who has endured wretched luck on the injury front in recent years.

The forward, who famously missed out on Germany’s World Cup triumph in 2014, suffered cruciate ligament damage in May and is still working his way back to fitness.


Hatem Ben Arfa must be cursing his decision to trade Nice for PSG in 2016, with the winger seeing his career derail again just as he had got it back on track.

Already restricted to the fringes of the fold prior to this season, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have now arrived in the French capital to provide even fiercer competition and nudge him further down the pecking order.


Graced the 2015 Champions League final and was named among the substitutes as Juve lost out to Real Madrid in 2017, but Stephan Lichtsteiner will be playing no part in the competition again any time soon.

The veteran Swiss full-back has admitted that his exclusion by Massimiliano Allegri is a “hard blow” and a “huge disappointment”.


Jurgen Klopp has sought to assure England international Nathaniel Clyne that he will be part of his European plans if Liverpool progress beyond the group stage, but he has been restricted to a spectator role for now.

Clyne has been ruled out of action for “some time” with a back problem picked up during pre-season.


Jadon Sancho was snapped up in the wake of Ousmane Dembele’s departure to Barcelona and handed the No. 7 jersey vacated by the France international.

The exciting forward is, however, just 17 years old and still waiting on his competitive debut in the professional ranks. One for the future in Dortmund, rather than an option for the present.


Alongside Lichtsteiner at Juventus, Croatia international Marko Pjaca has missed out through injury – although he is another who could be added to the ranks at a later stage.

The same applies to Erik Lamela, who is edging his way back to fitness at Tottenham but is in no position at present to aid their Champions League cause.

Lazar Markovic would welcome the opportunity to see game time at Liverpool, along with Danny Ings, but both will take a watching brief in Europe – with the former firmly out of favour despite being retained this summer and the latter being carefully nurtured back from another serious knee problem.