Necessity is the mother of invention and after a calamitous 2015-16, Chelsea are certainly having to reinvent themselves. The corner stone of this planned revival proves the appointment of Antonio Conte as manager.
The Italian’s arrival is certainly reason for optimism. An abundance of Serie A stars have been linked to the Blues as a consequence, but it proves his ability to retain players not just attract them that will prove vital.
In other words, Conte’s selection may just have saved Chelsea from a squad exodus. The hierarchy at Stamford Bridge can breath a sigh of relief that their decision has, in one respect, already reaped reward.
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Despite having romped to the league title in 2014-15, Chelsea slumped to a tenth place finish just a year later. As a consequence, the Blues will be absent from the Champions League for the first time in 14 years.
Given how much modern footballers value Europe’s premier competition, such an absence posed a large threat.
After a campaign that saw home defeats to Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Southampton amongst others, there was no Champions League safety net to soften the blow.
Subsequently, there were festering concerns that players such as Willian, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard might jump ship. After all, the Blues’ late season form certainly wasn’t indicative of a quick return to Europe next season.
However, the arrival of Conte looks to have doused the flames of concern. In bringing such a high-profile manager to the club, Chelsea have slashed worries of an exodus via presenting a hearty incentive to stay.
After all, this is the man who revived Juventus from mid-table mediocrity to a hat trick of Scudettos.
His attraction has been clear to see. Just a month ago, rumours of a Hazard exit was doing vicious cycles of the media yet the simple proposition of Conte seems to have quashed this.
As the Evening Standard reports, the Belgian went from being tempted by whispers of a Real Madrid move to being impatient to work under Conte.
A similar story can be said for Thibaut Courtois. Champions League truancy looked set to derail his loyalty to Chelsea and according to ESPN was evasive over his future just a month ago.
However, the ex-Atletico Madrid shot stopper has now reassured Sky Sports that he is "99 per cent" sure of staying. Such a flip, you guessed it, coincided during the mean time of Chelsea confirming their managerial switch.
While the club’s failure to reach the Champions League may still see members of the squad leave, Chelsea can be relieved that their appointment of Conte has bolstered the floodgates.
The move shows ambition and a readiness to return to winning ways. It seems key players such as Hazard and Courtois have understandably bought into this and it bodes very well for the Conte era at Stamford Bridge.
The Italian hasn’t even left his current job yet, but is already leaving positive impressions on the team he’ll inherit come July.
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