With Antonio Conte announcing that he will take over from interim manager Guus Hiddink at Chelsea this summer, work will surely be under way on the massive rebuild that is required at Stamford Bridge.
Of course Conte still has Euro 2016 to think about but it would be unlikely that the Italian isn’t thinking about Chelsea at all given the size of the job that he faces when stepping into the hot seat.
Premier League winners at a canter last season, Chelsea looked out of sorts and this eventually lead to the sacking of Chelsea legend Jose Mourinho. Whilst Guus Hiddink has somewhat steadied the ship, there is still an air of vulnerability about them.
Chelsea will have seen Manchester United struggle with managerial changes and the departures of senior players and will want to avoid the problems of their up north counterparts.
Yesterday Football Fanzone’s Jason Cundy said Conte’s first act should be to hand club captain John Terry a new deal, but today he goes in depth, looking at the problems the incoming manager will face as well as offering his thoughts on the appointment of the former Juventus manager:
Firstly every manager is a risk, there are no guarantees in football as seen with Jose Mourinho who went from the title to unemployed in a matter of months.
Conte has a good record but has a bit to learn and the Premier League will be a tough proving ground for the Italy manager.
Of course one of the main things fans will be interested in with Conte is transfers, both in and out of the club.
I’ve already said that Conte should look to sort out John Terry issue but he isn’t the only player who’s future needs sorting.
Diego Costa has been linked with a move away and if reports are to be believed he should have been gone before the season started. Atletico Madrid will offer him a way out if he does want to leave, I see no point in keeping a player if he doesn’t want to be here but it is important that we get as much for him as we can.
A £32m signing in 2014, Chelsea will look to make just as much back if not more and the same can be said for Eden Hazard.
The Belgian has also been linked with a move away but having signed a 5 year deal last summer, whoever comes in for him, if clubs are interested, will have to pay big bucks.
How will he line up? We’ve seen him use a 3 at the back before and his choice of formation will impact on his transfer dealings. If he does opt for a back 3 then wing-backs become important and someone like Kenedy will be rubbing his hands at the prospect of game time in the role.
The squad is definitely in need of a revamp and Conte will need to figure out who comes in and which players on loan will get a chance and who will be heading back out. The likes of Nathan Ake, Charly Musonda and Andreas Christensen are all doing well away from the club, will they be introduced into the first team fold?
And talking of loans is this an area of the club that needs to be looked at? Whilst it generates revenue, how many of the players that get sent out have a chance of making it?
If he does bring some of these young players into the fold it will be great but he will need to blend this with experienced signings even if the lack of Champions League signings means perhaps there won’t be any marquee signings. That said United were able to sign Angel Di Maria whilst out of Europe and City were able to sign Yaya Toure and David Silva without European football too.
The fact is Chelsea will likely have to pay more than they wish if they want to get top draw players.
The transfer activity will require careful planning, we’ve seen with Man United how a scattergun approach can cause more problems than it solves also we will need to chase realistic targets. Last summer we chased Stones to the point that it was impossible to bring another player of real quality in. It can like cack handed and amateur, you only have to look at Ed Woodward and his pursuit of the likes of Fabregas, Ramos, Neymar etc.
For example is there any point in chasing Pogba? A lack of Champions League football suggests not even if some will have you believe that the fact Conte is here makes it worthwhile.
The Chelsea job is a huge one at the best of times, you will hope that Conte’s planning started even before the announcement was made because he has a lot to do this summer!