Antonio Conte and his midfield crisis: A report


Much has been made this summer of Chelsea’s dwindling number of players in the squad. Due to long term injuries to star man Eden Hazard, new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko and the suspension of Victor Moses, Chelsea played Burnley with just 13 senior first team players.

The Blues are suffering from lack of depth in all departments right now but none as major as the midfield. With the departure of Serbian Nemanja Matic to Manchester United after the sale of Nathaniel Chalobah to Watford along with the loan deals for Ruben Loftus-Cheek to Crystal Palace, Lewis Baker to Middlesbrough and Mario Pasalic to Spartak Moscow, Antonio Conte has just N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko to pick from for his 2 midfield positions.
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Read: Chelsea players’ ratings vs Burnley.

Add to that Bakayoko is still recovering from a knee injury he sustained towards the end of the last season and Chelsea are just left with the Spaniard and the Frenchman to call upon.

Young Kyle Scott made it to the bench against Burnley which speaks volumes about how much shortage of midfielders the club currently face.

Chelsea were stunned by Burnley with a 2-3 defeat in the opening fixture of their title defence. But not only did they lose the game, they lost two players for the next game as well. Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas both saw red cards in the defeat against Sean Dyche’s men.

This leaves Antonio Conte with just N’Golo Kante as a senior midfielder available for the London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. The game will come too quick for Bakayoko to return.

It leaves The Blues with a few options. One of them is to sign a senior midfielder before the next match and straight up draft him in the first XI. Drinkwater should have no qualms about doing so having already played in the Premier League as well as having formed a formidable partnership with N’Golo Kante in Leicester’s fairy tale title clinching 2015/2016 season.

The other option which is more likely to be chosen is using David Luiz as a makeshift centre midfielder. The Brazilian has been used before in this position by Rafa Benitez and worked wonders. He possesses good distribution skills, can dribble well and most importantly shoot from range from range as well.

The third but highly unlikely option is to put Kyle Scott into the first XI but it seems unlikely that Conte will put the youngster up against a strong Spurs midfield comprising of Moussa Dembele and Eric Dier.

How Chelsea solve this midfield crisis that they have come across could very well be season defining for them, supporters will be Hoping that their Italian Boss finds the right solution to address the crisis.