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Chelsea should keep Antonio Conte, clear out squad this summer - Marcel Desailly

Chelsea should keep Antonio Conte, clear out squad this summer - Marcel Desailly
From ESPN - April 13, 2018

Chelsea should keep Antonio Conte and instead look to overhaul their underperforming squad this summer, former captain Marcel Desailly told the Daily Mail.

Conte's contract at Stamford Bridge runs until June 2019, but he is expected to leave at the end of the season after clashing with the Chelsea hierarchy publicly and privately over the club's transfer strategy.

Chelsea have also regressed significantly under Conte this season and are fifth in the Premier League, 10 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham with only six matches to go, and highly unlikely to qualify for next season's Champions League.

But Desailly insisted that Conte should not have to pay the price for mistakes that go beyond him.

"What was working last season with Conte cannot suddenly not work this season," the former France international said. "Before, they have changed the coach and kept the players. This time they should keep the coach and look to move four to five players on.

"Your best players' performances have dropped and Chelsea did not get the correct players with the correct strengths or another top player in the summer. Players like [Victor] Moses and [Marcos] Alonso played a magnificent season last year but they were in need of support this year.

"It's been a collective failure at Chelsea this season. I do not think the situation that Chelsea are in is Conte's fault -- you must give him that season."

Desailly believes the departures of Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic left Chelsea incapable of mounting a serious Premier League title defence.

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