How Conte can learn from Mourinho and other things Chelsea need to work on

first_img 5 5 5 5 2. Do not sell Cesc Fabregas – At the beginning of May, Fabregas hailed this season as his best in a Chelsea shirt, despite the majority of his appearances coming from the bench. He told reporters: “I feel the quality of my minutes whenever I’ve been on the pitch have been fantastic, so maybe my contribution has been even bigger than when I’ve played more in other seasons. He added: “I’ve had to have patience and accept that sometimes these things happen. Play for the team.” Of his 29 league appearances, only 13 were starts, but the Spaniard still contributed 12 assists and five goals in a title-winning campaign. Conte often called on the playmaker when results weren’t going his way or to see out a win – and he responded to his manager’s demands. There is no other player with the vision and ability of Fabregas in the Chelsea team, and there are few in the market who could replace him. Selling him would be a major risk that shouldn’t yet be taken. 5 FA Cup final defeat aside, it’s been an excellent campaign from Chelsea – but there’s work to be done.Antonio Conte will be wary of his team failing to live up to expectations after their title triumph and is likely to have been left concerned by their performance in the loss to Arsenal at the weekend.So what do Chelsea need to do over the summer to be best prepared for next season?Scroll through the gallery above to take a look at five things that should be on Conte’s to-do list over the next couple of months. 3. Sign a top quality winger – Despite sealing what was an ultimately comfortable Premier League title, Chelsea didn’t intimidate in attack as Tottenham and Manchester City did when they were at their fluid best. Diego Costa was imperative to their success, with no other player in the top flight winning more points for their team than the Brazil-born striker through their goals. Of Chelsea’s 93 points, 15 of those were won by Costa. But it’s a gamble for the Blues to rely on him and reinforcements should be made. As brilliant as Eden Hazard can be, there’s a tendency for his form to be exaggerated by fans and media alike. He’s not, some might argue, at the same level of influence as Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. And aside from him, Pedro and Willian share a role in the team and few would judge Conte for searching for alternatives to the pair. Chelsea need a balance of top class quality on either wing, just as Barcelona and Real Madrid have. A little competition could even boost Hazard’s contribution. 4. Sign a striker, whether Diego Costa stays or goes – It shouldn’t matter whether Costa pushes for a move or not; Chelsea must enter the transfer market for a centre forward this summer. The former Atletico Madrid striker’s form hasn’t been great this calendar year and a lack of quality replacement during his dip in influence has been obvious. Despite spending £33m on Michy Batshuayi last summer and his contribution to Chelsea’s last three league wins with four goals, he doesn’t seem the player to come in and take over from Costa. Alvaro Morata has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge and a deal for him would make sense. Speculation has also suggested Romelu Lukaku could return to Chelsea, but there’s certainly an argument that he wouldn’t be much of an upgrade on Batshuayi. Either way, there are plenty of strikers available across Europe. It’s down to Chelsea to make a move happen in the coming months. 1. Encourage others to step out of John Terry’s shadow – click the arrow above, right, to take a look at four other things Chelsea must do this summer – John Terry will forever have a place in the hearts of the Stamford Bridge faithful, and deservedly so. But despite playing a minimal role on the pitch in Chelsea’s title success this season, the decorated defender has carefully made sure he remains the centre of attention. Through his social media activity to his farewell appearance, all eyes have been on him. It’s time now, though, to move on. Terry has been an immensely influential figure in the dressing room and it’s now up to Conte to encourage others to make their voices heard. In recent years there has been sorrow over the exits of Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech, but each have been replaced. The departure of Terry should be no different. 5. Take inspiration from Jose Mourinho over his goalkeeping quality at Man United – Asmir Begovic, as expected, has agreed a move to Bournemouth, leaving Chelsea in need of a reserve goalkeeper to take his place. It’s a position often neglected and, unsurprisingly, challenging to fill. There aren’t many ‘keepers wanting to come into a club as a number two. But Chelsea can learn from Jose Mourinho’s use of David De Gea and Sergio Romero at Manchester United. The latter was the regular in between the posts for United’s Europa League triumph, while the former is still widely considered the best in the Premier League. The importance of having two quality options in goal is growing and Chelsea should be making this position a priority in the market, particularly now they’re back in the Champions League.last_img

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