Football

Carlo Ancelotti admits one player made a big difference for Chelsea.

Carlo Ancelotti names the player who changed Chelsea’s Premier League fortunes this season

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Chelsea performed something miraculous by winning the Premier League just a season after finishing 10th in the league.

Not even the most optimistic of fans - the kind who bet on Leicester to win the title last season - would have honestly been so convinced that they would regain their status as champions this campaign.

Antonio Conte was left to pick up the pieces upon his arrival at Stamford Bridge last summer and did so by restoring the harmony amongst his squad and helping his players to re-find their best form.

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Eden Hazard endured a poor season by his standards in 2015/16, while Diego Costa could not find the net with the regularity that made him an instant hit during his debut campaign, the season before.

All in all, when two of a team's best players are lacking their spark completely, along with the rest of the squad underperforming, it's inevitable that a team are going to struggle - especially one that had hopes of retaining the title.

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But for all of the mass spending in the Premier League last summer, arguably all but one of Conte's signings have looked like shrewd pieces of business.

Summer arrivals aid Blues recovery

Michy Batshuayi has failed to live up to expectations since his £33 million move from Marseille - although he ultimately scored the Championship-winning goal against West Brom on Friday night.

For the likes of Marcos Alonso, David Luiz and N'Golo Kante, however, all three summer arrivals have played a key role in the Blues' march to the title.

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League

Alonso adjusted nicely into Conte's change to a 3-4-3 formation early in the season, as a wing-back - which sparked a major upturn in the clubs' form, while Luiz has settled back in nicely upon his return to the club after leaving Stamford Bridge for Paris Saint-Germain in 2014.

However, the man who has really lit up the show since his arrival at Chelsea is N'Golo Kante - with his brilliant displays in the centre of Conte's midfield. Just like he was in Leicester's title-winning campaign last season, the France international acted like a 12th man.

Ancelotti credits Kante for Chelsea success

And Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti, who managed the Blues for two seasons, believes the 26-year-old has helped to change Chelsea's season.

"Buying N'Golo Kante turned the season, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are back to their levels, David Luiz has done a great season with no mistakes," Ancelotti told Sky Sports, per Goal.

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-SOUTHAMPTON

The Italian also highlighted his compatriot's "courage" to change things when they did not work out for Chelsea, over the course of the season.

"He [Conte] managed to impose his idea of football and had the courage to change when he needed to.

"When he settled into what he knew best, it made the difference. When he realised that things were not going well, he changed it immediately, and the system has been the key to the season."

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Topics:
Eden Hazard
Diego Costa
Football
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