Conte aims to revamp Chelsea’s squad

arsene wenger

Antonio Conte has identified that Chelsea’s squad is too big and as a result the Italian manger intends to allow several high profile players to leave the club before the start of the new season, according to the Independent.

Potential for a swathe of departures

Among those who Conte perceives as being potentially surplus to his requirements are goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, along with the South American duo of Juan Cuadrado and Oscar, as well as the French striker Loic Remy.

Another player that may not feature in Conte’s plans for the forthcoming season is Pedro, since despite being fit the Spaniard did not play in Chelsea’s recent 3-1 friendly win over AC Milan.

In addition to the futures of a number of Chelsea’s senior players being uncertain, with the club having already sent 15 young players out on loan, they may allow more to leave temporarily.

New signings being targeted

Whilst Conte has expressed a desire to reduce the overall size of his squad, he also wishes to sign some new players, with his primary targets being Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly and Santos midfielder Thiago Maia, who is currently playing for Brazil at the Rio Olympics.

In terms of Chelsea’s interest in Lukaku, in order to resign the 23-year-old Belgian striker, who they sold to Everton for £28m two years ago, the club are believed to be ready to offer Loic Remy plus £60m, which would be a club record transfer fee.

There is also likely to be a requirement for Chelsea to spend lavishly to recruit Koulibaly, with Napoli set to demand £38m for the Senegalese internationalist.

South American duo attracting interest

Ultimately it is the need to create space in his squad for new signings and generate finances to fund them, that is motivating Conte to look to move on some of his existing players, such as Cuadrado and Oscar, both of whom are attracting interest Italy.

Specifically Cuadrado is understood as being tracked by AC Milan, whilst the Rossoneri’s city rivals Inter are thought to be preparing a £30m bid to sign Oscar, who Chelsea signed from Internacional for £25m in 2012.

Nevertheless, the 24-year-old Brazilian internationalist may still have a future at Stamford Bridge given that Conte praised Oscar’s past achievements and application during pre-season, as reported by the Independent.

“Oscar is an important player and the season when Chelsea won the title he was fantastic. He is a player with great talent and can improve a lot,” said Conte, who during Chelsea’s pre-season training camps in Austria and the USA has used 29 players.

Batshuayi & Kante may be joined by more new recruits

One of those is N’Golo Kante, as the 26-year-old French midfield enforcer made his Chelsea debut in their friendly win over Milan following his £30m move from Leicester.

So far this summer, Conte has made just one other signing with that being the Belgian internationalist striker Michy Batshuayi from Marseille for a fee in the region of £33.2m

However further new arrivals appears to be fast approaching, as Conte endeavours to revamp his squad before Chelsea’s first game of the new season, which is at home to West Ham on 15 August.

Does Oscar have a future at Chelsea following miserable year for form?

Chelsea Oscar

Chelsea have endured a difficult start to the new season, with many players underperforming in the squad. While the likes of Branislav Ivanovic, John Terry, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa have failed to match last season’s form this time round, Brazilian playmaker Oscar shouldn’t be left out of the criticism for a poor year at Stamford Bridge.

The 24-year-old has spent three years at Stamford Bridge, and has endured peaks and troughs with his performances. Oscar seems to hit purple patches as frequently as he goes off the boil, and over the course of the campaign he falls out of favour in the starting eleven as a result. Oscar is now of the age where he needs to be playing regular football at the top level for the sake of his development, but he appears to have gone backwards in the last year.

Oscar has scored just one goal in the Premier League since January, and has found himself in and out of the team since. Manager Jose Mourinho gave his backing to the South American midfielder at a time where the likes of former player Juan Mata was competing with Oscar for a starting place in the side, but the two have gone in opposite directions for form since.

Building up a reputation as a relatively quick central midfielder capable of playing in between the defensive lines, while possessing a composed head to create chances, as well as an eye for goal 20 yards out. He’s scored some brilliant goals in his time with the Blues, and did shine in the first half of Chelsea’s title-winning campaign of 2014/15 before going off the boil in the new year, and no his manager has a decision to make.

How long should Mourinho continue to back Oscar until he’s forced to leave him out? The former of Willian has seen the fellow Brazilian operating in the central attacking midfield role, while Eden Hazard and Pedro Rodriguez have occupied the wider positions, so Oscar has real pressure to try and stay in the starting eleven. With Chelsea performing so poorly in the Premier League, the manager will have zero tolerance for disappointing showings, so Oscar needs to turn his season around fast.

There’s no doubt the Brazilian international is a gifted talented, evident from his inclusion in the 2014 World Cup squad, where he played in the semi-final defeat against Germany, but his club form leaves a lot to be desired.