Antonio Conte Warns Blues Need to Be Wary of His 'Amazing' Former Striker Ahead of Saints Clash

David Pepper

​Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has warned his squad to be careful of Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini ahead of their Premier League clash on Tuesday night.

The Blues boss coached the Southampton striker during his spell in charge of the Italy national team between 2014 and 2016. Speaking ahead of the game, Conte was full of praise for his former player, who has hit the ground running for the Saints since his January arrival from Napoli.

"He is a really talented player with a fantastic left foot, one of the best in the world because it is amazing the way he kicks the ball," the ​Chelsea official website quote him as saying.

Gabbiadini has looked impressive following his £14m move to the Saints - scoring six goals in six appearances for Claude Puel's side.

Conte added: "We must pay great attention and for sure I have to talk with my players, and my goalkeeper coach has started to talk with the goalkeepers to give advice about this player, but also Tadic is a great talent, Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Bertrand…They have a lot of good players."

Chelsea face Southampton fresh off the back of their 3-2 FA Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, but Conte also mentioned the difficulties of picking the right team after such a gruelling encounter. 

"When you have to play this type of game, it is very important to try to find the best solution, to give the right balance in our squad to play these games in these few days," he said.

"It is important for us to win and look at ourselves, but we all know that tomorrow it won’t be easy because Southampton is a very good team with a good coach and good players."

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