Following the conclusion of our preseason tour of Asia, Chelsea legend Pat Nevin believes the games Chelsea played were pretty informative and also revealed Chelsea boss Antonio Conte must have learnt he needed to strengthen the squad even further.
“The games themselves were pretty informative and any Chelsea fan who watched them would agree that each had some good and some less impressive periods within them. The standard of the opposition was high with Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan all on similar pre-season trajectories,” Nevin wrote on Chelsea’s official website.
“The big question is, what did Antonio Conte learn? Well, he certainly made it clear that he wants a few more players in between now and the demise of the transfer window. Demise? Well I just wanted to write something other than closing or indeed slamming shut of the transfer window, just for a change.
“With JT and Nathan Ake having left the club, Kurt Zouma away for the time being, and only the defensive cover of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen coming in, then it probably does look like we are at least one light in defence, especially with the extra Champions League games coming up this season.
“With the unavailability of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Eden Hazard and Pedro right now, then even going further forward in the team it isn’t absolutely sorted as the season’s opening draws near. Nemanja Matic has now gone, so in short there is a bit of work to be done before everything is in place.
“I suspect this is Antonio’s main consideration above everything else; making sure that the squad is big enough and settled enough in time. With transfer brinkmanship a fact of life in the game, you just have to manage it somehow even if it is not perfect. Everyone would like to get the entire squad together early but there is no doubt that there is a huge premium to be paid on the price if you try to do it that way.”