Zola tells Chelsea players not to be afraid of Werner and Co

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Chelsea have two big signings in Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner ahead of next season, and the Blues don’t seem to be done yet in the transfer market.

Chelsea are being linked with Kai Havertz and big names in the defence and goalkeeping positions.

Chelsea youngsters have played a crucial role in the team this season, but many believe that Chelsea’s signings will impact the game time of the young players.

Meanwhile, Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has rebuffed such claims, and insists that playing with quality players make you better. Zola even revealed that he got better because he played with the legendary Diego Maradona.

“I would have not been the player I was if I didn’t train with Diego Maradona, he explains, having been at Napoli with the Argentina great.

“He was so influential on every aspect of my game. I promise you — I would have been another Gianfranco Zola if I hadn’t trained and played with Maradona every day.’

“I don’t think John Terry would have been the player he was if he hadn’t had Marcel Desailly or Frank Leboeuf in front of him with us at Chelsea,” Zola tells Sportsmail at a Kick It Out event in conjunction with player agency Unique Sports Management.

“What makes you better is not playing every single game in a modest championship. What makes you better is playing 10 games in a very competitive league. Because of players like myself, Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and so many others, the game in England is at such a high level.

“If you want to be involved you have to be as good. And then, if you are good enough, you will become very good.

“There is a common mistake people make. They say, “We need to play the young English boys”. Of course, but only if they are good. How can you measure that? If they are playing with good players and if they can fit into the level of the good players. That’s why, because of the level of the Premier League, England has so many talented players.”

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.