New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has started his pre-season preparations at Stamford Bridge, but the Italian still needs to address some issues in his side.
Conte guided his home nation Italy to the Euro 2016 quarter-finals, where they unluckily lost to world champions Germany on penalties. Conte's side beat Belgium and Spain during an impressive tournament for a side many wrote off before a ball had even been kicked.
The Italian proved his tactical awareness throughout the competition, and showed Chelsea fans what a tactician he really is, masterminding victories over Belgium and Spain. However, he now has a big job on his hands, getting Chelsea back into the top four, and back into title contenders.
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2015 champions Chelsea had a disastrous defence of their title last season, finishing 10th despite possessing a plethora of world-class stars, including Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas, and Diego Costa.
Chelsea have already addressed one of last season's big problems by signing Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi for a fee believed to be in the region of £33 million.
Despite their poor season, which was at times baffling, Conte has still inherited a very strong squad that will be looking to challenge for the Premier League title again, but with Gary Cahill's deteriorating form over the last year, and John Terry's age, you can't help but feel that Conte will need another centre-half.
The Blues conceded an astonishing 53 goals last season, an extremely worrying statistic for Chelsea fans. The former Azzurri coach prides his teams on their defensive abilities, and if his favoured 3-5-2 formation is going to be effective, the Juventus legend will need a more reliable defence.
Chelsea legend John Terry was originally not offered a new contract, but the club have since changed their minds, quite possibly at Conte's request. Terry is still one of the best defenders in the Premier League, but at 35-years-old, the former England international simply can't feature every week.
21-year old Kurt Zouma replaced both Terry and Cahill at times last season, but at such a tender age, the French international isn't quite ready to spearhead a defence that will be looking to challenge for the title.
Chelsea were heavily linked with England centre-half John Stones last season, having four bids for the Everton defender rejected, but with Conte now at the helm, it is unlikely he will look to sign the defender; preferring a more experienced centre-half.
Conte will know he will need to sign a long-term replacement for John Terry in the near future, otherwise it could be another very disappointing season for the Blues.
What defender should replace John Terry at Stamford Bridge? Leave us YOUR suggestions in the comment section below!
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