Chelsea’s new head coach Antonio Conte - nicknamed ‘The Godfather’ by his Italian players during Euro 2016 - has the unenviable task of trying to transform a team that finished 10th in the Premier League season to one challenging for a Champions League place.
He has stamped his authority early on with double training sessions and fans are optimistic that his tactical shrewdness will provide the results – and most importantly points - needed.
Top managers talk about the spine of any team being pivotal and while the whole team last season was pretty spineless, it is important that players are brought into the squad to give freshness, a sense of optimism – and some backbone.
Starting with the defence, Chelsea have already pulled the plug on signing John Stones from Everton who under Jose Mourinho was seen as a long-term replacement for John Terry but all talk now seems to be about Kalidou Koulibaly who plays centre back for Napoli.
At 25 he would be an ideal signing. He has long been admired by Conte who will look undoubtedly to shore up an ageing defence which last season conceded far too many goals.
In midfield last season we lacked quality. Oscar and Matic were extremely disappointing and to make a challenge for the title this season we need a player who will run all day and break up opposing attacks.
N’Golo Kante did just that for champions Leicester City. He made an immediate impact for them after joining from Ligue 1 side Caen a year ago and is just the sort of the player Chelsea need. In his final season in France, Kante won the ball back more than any other player in Europe and continued this rich vein of form for the Foxes.
He was the new Claude Makelele and we need someone like that urgently.
But for all the necessity for a tighter defence and tougher midfield, it’s goals that win matches.
When we have been without Diego Costa – for whatever reason – we have struggled to find the net. On top of that Radamel Falcao, Loic Remy and Alexandre Pato contributed barely anything.
There was speculation Chelsea would bring Romelu Lukaku back to the club but instead they have opted to sign a different Belgium striker in Michy Batshuayi who at the age of 22 promises to be a smart signing and is already a proven goalscorer in Ligue 1.
But we need another striker and talk of the ‘next Neymar’ and hottest Brazilian property Santos Gabigol coming to Stamford Bridge is very exciting. At just 19 he is long-term and we need youngsters like that to back up Diego Costa and not players looking for a last big payday.