Chelsea came back from an early season blip to win the league, and Paul Merson has told Chelsea boss Antonio Conte that he’d have to strengthen the team this summer if he must reclaim the title again next season.
In his column for the Daily Star, he wrote: “He needs to buy well this summer. This is where the big managers earn their money – by getting top-drawer players to sign for their club.”
He added: “They need a striker because Diego Costa will probably leave.
“But they also need another centre-half, one who’s not going to start much.
“That won’t be easy, unless they switch Cesar Azpilicueta to wing back and buy a big-name defender to replace him. I wonder if anyone will take a chance on the two Juventus centre-backs because they’ve been phenomenal this season.
“They’re not young any more, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, but is there anyone better in their position?
“Chelsea need wing backs as well. The two they’ve got have done well. But they were only playing once a week and that’s a graveyard shift.
“You can’t do that playing three times a week. If you don’t get your signings right you could easily end up finishing outside the top four.
“And if you don’t really make a splash it sends out the wrong message. Signing players is a statement of intent. If you don’t do it you stand still while others get better.
“That’s dangerous, especially when you have a squad full of players who lost their focus and downed tools the last time they won the title.
“I don’t think that will happen this time. Conte won’t let them lose focus. And he will think they have a chance of winning the Champions League as well.
“He didn’t win it with Juventus and he will be desperate to win it with Chelsea. They just have to make sure they don’t spend so long concentrating on it that they end up hurting their chances of defending the title.”