Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has indicated that Ruben Loftus-Cheek was only rested for the recent Premier League game versus Southampton. The England international made his maiden start for the Blues during the midweek Europa League triumph over MOL Vidi but this was however not deemed sufficient enough for him to feature against the Saints.
Speaking after the 3-0 away win over Southampton, Sarri indicated that the midfielder may not be prepared yet to secure a regular role and he would prefer to see more of him in training, he said: “No, not at the moment. After 70 minutes in the last match, for the first time this season, I preferred for him to have training.”
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte had admitted that he is a bit of a disaster when it comes to persuading his club’s hierarchy to spend on top quality recruits. The Blues had been linked with a couple of high-profile signings during the winter transfer window, but Conte ultimately had to contend with the arrivals of Ross Barkley, Emerson Palmieri, and Olivier Giroud.
In the lead-up to the West Brom game, Conte admitted that he learns to be more persuasive with the Blues’ board especially with the big spending being done by some of their league rivals, he said: “I have to speak more with the managers who are very, very good at persuading their clubs to spend money to buy top players. I think I’m a bit of a disaster to convince the club to buy players. I think that in this aspect I can improve a lot. I have to learn a lot from the other coaches, the other managers, in that aspect.”
2012 winners Chelsea secured their place in the knockout stages of this seasons Champions League with a narrow victory over Steaua Bucharest at Stamford Bridge yesterday evening.
Demba Ba’s goal on ten minutes was enough to secure victory for Jose Mourinho’s men, who will find out their opponents in the last sixteen – one from Bayer Leverkusen, Galatasaray, Olympiakos, Zenit St Petersburg and AC Milan – when the draw is made in Nyon on Monday.
Of the available options, the Blues’ boss has expressed his desire to be paired with the Turkish champions, in order to set up a reunion with Didier Drogba.
However, the club will first turn their attention to Saturday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace where they will hope to keep the pressure on league leaders Arsenal, who face a tough trip to Manchester City earlier in the day.
Chelsea then face Arsenal in a mouth-watering clash at the Emirates Stadium a week on Monday.
Elsewhere, Everton are set to offer a new contract to England international Ross Barkley, according to the Express.
The 20 year old, who has established himself as a first team regular under Roberto Martinez this season, has been linked with moves to both Chelsea and Manchester United.
Tags: AC Milan, Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen, Demba Ba, Didier Drogba, Everton, Galatasaray, Manchester United, Olympiakos, Ross Barkley, Steaua Bucharest, Zenit St Petersburg