Antonio Conte plans defensive clear-out at Chelsea with Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic expected to be phased out after Arsenal defeat
- Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is planning a clear-out of his defenders
- Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic are expected to be phased out
- Cahill made a shocking mistake in Chelsea's 3-0 thrashing by Arsenal
- Burnley's Michael Keane and Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson could be possible arrivals having been scouted by the Blues
Antonio Conte is ready to launch a ruthless defensive clear-out following his side’s calamitous 3-0 defeat by Arsenal on Saturday.
Branislav Ivanovic and central defender Gary Cahill, at fault for Arsenal’s first goal, are expected to be phased out as the Chelsea boss looks to bolster his back four, who have conceded 12 goals in just four games.
The pending returns of skipper John Terry and fellow centre back Kurt Zouma from injury will provide more options for Conte in the coming weeks.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is planning a clear-out of his defenders at Stamford Bridge
Gary Cahill is one man who is expected to be phased out by Conte in the near future
Branislav Ivanovic is another who is likely to see his Chelsea future come under threat
CHELSEA'S CURRENT DEFENSIVE OPTIONS
But with 35-year-old Terry’s career drawing to a close, Conte has his eye on signing a new full back and two centre backs, which could also cast doubts over David Luiz’s position as a first-choice central defender.
Conte failed to land his top defensive targets in the summer - Leonardo Bonucci, of Juventus, and Kalidou Koulibaly, of Napoli. He eventually added left back Marcos Alonso and Luiz, who returned to the club from Paris Saint-Germain.
But Conte still believes he needs to increase his options at the back in the next two transfer windows.
David Luiz returned to Chelsea this summer in a shock deal from Paris Saint-Germain
Conte also added Marcos Alonso to his defensive ranks but his team are still conceding goals
Conte was keen to sign Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly but the clubs failed to agree a fee
Cahill's shocking mistake allowed Alexis Sanchez to score Arsenal's opener at The Emirates
Sportsmail highlighted earlier this month how the club had begun a scouting drive to identify the best emerging home-grown central defensive talent.
Burnley’s Michael Keane and Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson are two that have been watched extensively by Blues scouts.
Conte was visibly agitated following the damaging defeat at the Emirates Stadium when questioned about his side's shocking display at the back.
Leonardo Bonucci (right) of Juventus was another defensive target for Chelsea in the summer
Middlesbrough’s Ben Gibson has been watched by Chelsea scouts with a view to a transfer
Michael Keane of Burnley is another defender to have been monitored by Chelsea bosses
David Luiz sums up the mood in the Chelsea defence that were all over the place at Arsenal
'Was I angry at half-time? Yes, but I prefer to keep my words, because it's right when I talk with my players, to keep what I tell them,' Conte said.
'This is normal. Sure I was angry, but my players were also angry. Because we weren't satisfied with our game, with our performance. I don't sleep, sure. I don't sleep. This is normal.
'After this game, this defeat, it's normal for me not to sleep. I reflect. And it's important to reflect.'
The Blues could be in line for a shake up at the back as Conte looks for more solidity
The defensive meltdown against their London rivals prompted Conte to deliver a warning to his players about living on their reputations.
'We are a great team only on paper, not on the pitch,' said the Italian. 'I prefer to be a great team not only on paper but also on the pitch. The pitch is the truth. The pitch speaks.
'The pitch is the most important thing for us: not the words, not on paper. We must work to change this. We must work a lot.
'Last season was a bad season. We must have last season present in our mind to not repeat the mistakes. We must reflect a lot to find very soon the right way.'
The Blues can attempt to discover that right way on Saturday with a trip to Hull at the KC Stadium.
Cahill was at fault for the first goal as he dithered and was robbed by Alexis Sanchez
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3806815/Antonio-Conte-plans-defensive-clear-Chelsea-Gary-Cahill-Bransilav-Ivanovic-expected-phased-Arsenal-defeat.html#ixzz4LLdiEmcm
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