Ross Barkley is in line to make his Chelsea debut when the Blues visit Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday [20 January] after being included in Antonio Conte's squad for the first time since his arrival from Everton.

The 24-year-old offensive midfielder became the Blues' first and only signing of the current January transfer window on 5 January in a deal worth around £15m ($20.8m).

However, the England international has since been unable to play due to different issues.

Barkley was short of fitness for the Premier League duels with Arsenal and Leicester City, having only recently recovered from a hamstring injury that has prevented him from making a single competitive appearance in 2017-18.

The England international also missed the FA Cup penalty shoot-out win over Norwich City on Wednesday night as he was not registered in time to play.

However, Conte has now confirmed that the new Chelsea recruit is fit and available to face Brighton after he successfully completed a behind-closed-doors friendly against a QPR development side on Thursday.

"I think Ross is in good physical condition," he said. "Yesterday he played 70 minutes in a friendly game. For tomorrow, he's in the squad. He's coming with us for the game against Brighton.

"I don't know if, during the game, I'll decide to give him the chance to play a part of the game, or whether I want to wait if the game doesn't ask this type of situation. For sure now he's in the squad. He has to continue to improve, to work with us, with our idea. But he's in the squad."

The availability of the former Everton midfielder comes as a boost for Chelsea with Conte also revealing that Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill remain unavailable.

The duo missed the midweek victory over Norwich due to respective hamstring injuries and Conte suggested that more players could be sidelined for the trip to Brighton.

"I have to check a couple of other situations for tomorrow's game but Cahill and Fabregas are out. I'd prefer not to tell you the other doubts. I'll keep them secret," he said.

Chelsea will also be without Alvaro Morata and Pedro this weekend after both were sent off for picking up two yellow cards during the controversial clash with Norwich. The Spaniards each received their first cautions for diving in the box, with Willian also booked for the same reason.

Conte reiterated his belief that the decision regarding Willian was a clear mistake from both match official Graham Scott and the video assistant referee (VAR) system as the replay showed it was a clear penalty.

"I have watched the three situations against Norwich and the Willian situation was very clear, a big mistake," he insisted.

"Morata I think there is a foul and then you can decide whether there is a penalty or not, but there is contact and there is not only diving. For Pedro we have to be honest and accept he is diving. The player is intelligent to understand his mistake.

"For Morata there was frustration for the first yellow card because the player did not deserve this yellow card, but at the same time he must learn to control himself because the second yellow card was for dissent. I agree with the player on the first yellow card and I do not agree on the second."

Ross Barkley
Barkley completed his move from Everton to Chelsea on 5 January Getty Images