arrival at Stamford Bridge last season coincided with the club’s worst Premier League finish since 1995/96 – finishing in 10th place.

The Spain international struggled despite making 29 Premier League appearances and scoring seven goals.

However, despite a disappointing start to life in the Premier League, the former star is optimistic for the upcoming season and thinks Conte can turn things around.

“I’m very happy with how my first year went at Chelsea, especially for adaptation but not so much for the results,” he told Spanish publication La Opinion.

“It was difficult for me and a situation I had never experienced in my career but we all learn and I think what happened will make me stronger. 

“As you say, the following season could be crucial for me and I hope to be even more integrated into the team and the Premier League, hopefully we can be in the top positions.

“In this second year, I hope to improve and contribute more to the club that signed me.

“All teams are being reinforced very well and the league is becoming more competitive.

“It always has been, but look at what happened this season with the triumph of Leicester, whom nobody considered at the start of the season – that shows how anyone can win. 

“We have a new coach in Antonio Conte, and I think he can help a lot and restore Chelsea to the place it belongs. I’ll do everything in my power to make it so.”