Ex-Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux has revealed his high hopes for Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge this season, anticipating the former champions will be “very competitive” and bounce straight back from a miserable 10th place finish in 2015/16.
Speaking to the London Evening Standard, Le Saux commented on the coaching strengths that Conte will bring to Chelsea and the important assessment tasks he faces in his first few weeks on the job.
“He’s a disciplinarian, tactically he is very switched on, leads by example, doesn’t suffer fools and he’s a tough man when he needs to be. All of that will be vital for that dressing room given the season and difficulties they had last season,” the 47-year-old explained.
“Those first few weeks are going to be demanding for the players and he’s going to be watching them and seeing which ones have the strength of character to deal with his style and have the discipline he has,” the retired left-back turned pundit added.
Italy’s stunning performances and perfectly executed tactics at Euro 2016 have given Chelsea plans plenty of reason to be optimistic about the months to come.
“They are going to be a tough side next season,” Le Saux added. “They have good quality players, can invest if they want to and have good, young players coming through. I expect Chelsea to be very competitive next season.
“He’ll be very careful in assessing the players in the early weeks and making decisions based on that. It’s up to [the players] to prove they are good enough to be part of that team and that’s what you want – competition.”
With Michy Batshuyai adding depth up front, Chelsea look set to complete the signing of N’Golo Kante from Leicester sooner rather than later, while the club remains linked with a handful of centre-backs to strengthen in defence.
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