Antonio Conte believes that his squad selection for Chelsea’s 6-0 Champions League win against Qarabag proves that he trusts the fringe members of his squad.
Conte led Chelsea to the 2016-17 Premier League title with a largely unchanged 3-4-3 formation, but spent big in the summer to bolster his squad in order to fight for trophies on four fronts.
The likes of Nemanja Matic and Nathaniel Chalobah left Stamford Bridge in the transfer window in search of first-team football, but Conte offered the likes of Michy Batshuayi, Willian and Davide Zappacosta the chance to impress on Tuesday night.
After rotating his team for the second of seven games in September, Conte told reporters: “To play in the Champions League it means the coach trusts you.
“My message tonight was this: I trust all my players, not with only words, but with facts.
“If we think like last season to play with only 13 players we are crazy.
“We have to improve all these players to try and create a good competition, a positive competition, between them. It’s very important.”
Eden Hazard made his second substitute appearance for Chelsea of the season after his broken ankle, but Conte said it was too soon to say whether the Belgium playmaker would start on Sunday against Arsenal.
Conte added: “We must have a bit of patience with him and to try to give the possibility for Eden to recover very well.
“We must be calm and to do the best for the player and for the team.
“Otherwise we risk a bad injury to delay the situation. This is the right way. This process is good for him.”