Antonio Conte has been tasked with reviving Chelsea’s fortunes following an abysmal season, which saw them go from Premier League champions to a mid-table team.
He has started well, masterminding a narrow victory against Liverpool with an accomplished defensive performance.
The club has also done well in the transfer market so far this summer, acquiring N’Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi to reinforce key areas of the squad.
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Regardless of their form last season, they arguably possess the most adroit attack unit in the league.
In essence, they are the same team who ran away with the title a year ago and were tipped to dominate English football for several seasons, so a fresh start under a new manager may install some the confidence they were bereft of last term.
However, Conte may have his work cut out for him to shore up Chelsea’s aging and creaky defence.
An impressive performance against a Liverpool side denuded of several key players is no guarantee of success in the Premier League.
John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic have been at the heart of several great moments for the club, but the time has come to replace them. The latter’s woeful performances were crucial in Chelsea’s downfall, exacerbated by the fact that Baba Rahman couldn’t do much better until the end of the season.
It is highly doubtful that Terry will partner Gary Cahill for the entirety of next season as Conte will not allow the defensive solidity of the team to hinge on the fitness of a 35-year old; a fact made evident by the club’s bruited interest in signing Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
If Conte is successful in his quest for a central defender, the club can lay claim to the title of the most balanced team.
Football isn’t played on paper, but if so, it looks like Chelsea are the best-placed team to overshadow the two giants from Manchester.
Can Chelsea pose a real title challenge next season? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!