Kante admits it will be tough season for Chelsea

Wednesday, 09 Aug, 2017

'Maybe that is a frustration for Conte.

Hazard's absence and Diego Costa's exile after his fall out with Conte leaves the Italian short of attacking options ahead of Sunday's Community Shield clash with Arsenal.

Such discriminatory behaviour makes it impossible for Costa to return to Chelsea while Antonio Conte is coach.

While United and Pep Guardiola's Manchester City have stolen the headlines with high profile signings, Chelsea too have had a notable transfer window.

"For many reasons. It's very hard. After Pedro's red card they scored and it became more hard for us", he said. For this reason, this challenge will be very tough.

"I have this perception".

Michy Batshuayi has had a strong pre-season campaign and the man who scored the goal that guaranteed the Premier League title in May will be out to impress if he is given a chance to shine.

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Costa's replacement, Alvaro Morata has big boots to fill, and going by the initial impressions, the former Juventus and Real Madrid striker may take his time to hit the ground running.

Costa's future has been a recurring theme at Chelsea since January, when he was linked with a move to the Chinese Super League and was left out of the squad at Leicester as rumours of tensions with Conte surfaced.

Conte's angst was clear when he was pressed on the transfer situation during a media briefing on Friday.

"Everyone is trying to do their job".

"The experience thing is obviously the biggest part of any decision really these days for managers and I think if he's had the experience then fair play".

"In this moment we have a small squad". I wouldn't want to compare myself with him.

"This is the reality". I don't know what he's [Conte] said about me and him.

"It is a pleasure to work with this group of players".

"We must be ready for all situations". At Blackburn, when we won the title in 1995, we did not strengthen and were made to pay with a seventh-place finish the following year. "I put pressure on myself and it helps me to give my best". I think Conte should be anxious and I think he looked anxious yesterday.

"They didn't look happy". The decision was similar to the one here for the FA Cup final in May, when Victor Moses was given a second yellow and sent off for diving, in a final Arsenal went on to win. "Diego is not our player, so I am making no comment".