Two Positions That Chelsea Need To Strengthen In The Summer
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea managed to step into the finals of the FA Cup with a solid performance this weekend. They are also close to lifting the Premier League title this season and Conte will be happy with his progress in his first campaign in England. The Italian manager, however, needs to add some quality players to the squad if they are to compete with the best next season. So who should Conte look to sign this summer? Here are two positions that Chelsea need to concentrate and repair this summer if they are to replicate this season’s domestic success in Europe next season:
The former Juventus manager has stuck to a 3-4-3 system which has seen his first-choice centre-backs Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Gary Cahill play almost every game in the league. While the Spaniard has been impeccable, Luiz and Cahill have carried their own weaknesses but Conte’s training methods have seen them come out on top regularly. However, it is hard to see the manager go into the next season with a similar backline.
Luiz is still 30 and can play this role may be for another year but Conte cannot risk exposing a 31-year old Cahill to the skills and tricks of European stars as it can backfire. So they will need a player who can take his place in the first team with the English centre-back acting as a backup. The likes of Virgil van Dijk and Michael Keane have been linked with a move to the club and the duo can easily solve this problem.
Whether or not Diego Costa leaves the club, Chelsea are short in this position. The former Atletico man has been in terrific form and will remain the first choice under Conte if he plays in England for another year. But Chelsea have little help from the bench if he misfires. Michy Batshuayi had a decent outing in the FA Cup recently but he is not a genuine goal scoring option for Conte, and this should push Chelsea into the transfer market in search of a top-class striker.
The likes of Romelu Lukaku and Andrea Belotti have constantly been linked with a move to Chelsea but neither would want to play second fiddle to Costa. So Chelsea might have to look elsewhere for a prolific goal scorer, who can complement Costa from the bench. This depth will allow them to compete on all four fronts next campaign.