The Chelsea fans were feeling marginally more positive in the Transfer Tavern this weekend after their side closed the gap on 4th place Tottenham Hotspur to 7 points.
Antonio Conte’s side finally had something to shout about this weekend after they overturned a 2 goal deficit at St Mary’s to record a morale-boosting 3-2 victory and ease the pressure that was building on the club to steady the sinking ship. However, barring an extremely unlikely collapse from Spurs in the final weeks of the season, it’s too little too late for Chelsea to catch Spurs and secure their place in the Champions League next season.
Considering Chelsea’s demise in 2018 and Conte’s decision to consistently slate the board in the British media, it’s more than likely that the Italian will depart Stamford Bridge this summer. Conte’s departure would be a genuine shame for the supporters who were so fond of his passion, energy and ability to grind out results during his first season in charge of the club, but their decline this season suggests something isn’t quite right behind the scenes.
A change in manager this summer will almost certainly pave the way for a new style of play to be implemented at the club and perhaps even lead to the return of David Luiz (valued at £25.2 million by Transfermarkt) who has been frozen out by Conte this season due to a personal dispute between the pair and various injury problems for the Brazilian.
The Brazilian centre-back has divided opinion throughout his career in European football due to his kamikaze style of defending which so regularly leaves his fellow defenders exposed. But there’s no doubt that when Luiz is in the mood he is one of the best defenders in Europe and, if Chelsea replace Conte with a manager who is able to build a positive relationship with him, he could re-establish himself as a first-team regular once again next season.
Whether Roman Abramovich and Conte are able to put their differences to one side this summer remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely that this will be the case based on the events that have occurred at Stamford Bridge so far this season. Conte’s departure will usher in a new era for the Blues which the supporters should expect and hope Luiz to play a key role in, as his presence would certainly help the club to return to Champions League football next season.
Chelsea fans – thoughts? Let us know below!