Chelsea’s defence of their 2016-17 Premier League title was futile to say the least. Antonio Conte’s side were out of contention early on and ultimately ended outside the Champions League places by finishing fifth.
The Italian manager himself didn’t help things last summer by texting star striker Diego Costa that he was no longer welcome at the club. The Spaniard wasn’t even shipped out until January, when Atletico Madrid’s transfer embargo was lifted. More wild than the latest news recently doing the rounds over at Poker Times.
Costa’s replacement was Conte’s second choice; Alvaro Morata, after Manchester United hijacked Romelu Lukaku’s possible return to Stamford Bridge. Lukaku scored 16 Premier League goals last season, whilst Morata only netted 11.
Chelsea failed to land any of Antonio Conte’s summer targets, and the club ended up bringing in the likes of Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley. Perhaps few were surprised at such a decline over 12 months when players like these are being brought in. And now it’s left the club in a bit of a mess.
What’s more, no one seems to understand the manager situation at Stamford Bridge. It has long been whispered that Antonio Conte’s time is up, yet he is still there. Whilst number one target, Maurizio Sarri, quit Napoli, presumably after being told he was the next Blues manager.
Will Sarri be in charge before the start of the 2018-19 Premier League season? Only time will tell, but it’s certainly having an impact on the club.
Whilst Manchester United and Arsenal have been busy in the summer transfer window, Chelsea have yet to make any significant signings or sales. They will certainly need to bring in some players if they’re to compete for next season’s Premier League title, or at least be assured of a top four finish.
Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have both been linked with moves to Real Madrid, and the managerial situation at Stamford Bridge really can’t be helping their decision. Perhaps the duo being away with Belgium at the World Cup this summer is a good thing for Chelsea.
Likewise, it has been reported that Willian would want to leave the Blues should Antonio Conte stay on for a further season. The Brazilian international has been one of their most consistent players over the years but is now linked with a move to Manchester United instead.
No new signings could also suggest that Antonio Conte isn’t having a say in players for next season, which could simply because they have no plans for him to be in West London come August. It could also be that star players Chelsea want to sign aren’t considering joining them whilst the managerial situation is unclear.
With little more than a month to go before the start of the 2018-19 Premier League season, Chelsea really need to come out and make an announcement over their managerial situation as soon as possible in order to reassure both players and fans that everything is under control.