Santos takes on instructions, Maresca impact - Four things spotted in Chelsea pre-season training

Andrey Santos could be seen taking on instructions from Enzo Maresca in Chelsea training
-Credit: (Image: Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

The hard work continues at Cobham as Enzo Maresca prepares his Chelsea team for the upcoming 2024/25 season. Returning to the club's training base on Monday, the new head coach has the vast majority of his squad to work with at present as only a handful are still away following their time at either Euro 2024 or the Copa America.

After making such an impact at Leicester City shortly after taking on the hotseat, Maresca will be looking to do likewise at Chelsea come August as they bid to make a fast start to the new campaign. Supporters are desperate to see the Blues back on the pitch but they don't in fact have to wait too much longer as the team take on Wrexham on Thursday, July 25 (3.00am BST) in the United States.

Ahead of that game against the League One side, Maresca will be looking to implement his football philosophy on his squad and hope that it is on show against the Welsh side. From the latest batch of training photos that were published by Chelsea on Wednesday, here are four things spotted in the session at Cobham.

Maresca leads the way

Maresca is very much trying to stamp his own mark on his Chelsea squad in his first few training sessions as head coach. Rather than sometimes having coaches leading training and managers watching on, the Italian is right in the middle of the action and constantly guiding his team.

This is evident in the training photos as there are multiple images of him laying out instructions to his players and pointing to where exactly they need to be on the pitch. His training methods had the desired impact at Leicester and the same may happen at Chelsea if the players can quickly take them on board.

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Attacking options available to Maresca

It will be later in pre-season when Cole Palmer returns for pre-season training as he still remains with the England team at Euro 2024 in Germany. The Chelsea ace played a major role on Wednesday evening in helping the Three Lions secure a place in Sunday's final after teeing up fellow substitute Ollie Watkins in stoppage time.

Despite the continued absence of Palmer from Cobham, Maresca has a wealth of attacking players to work with at present. Raheem Sterling, Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk and Christopher Nkunku are all involved in pre-season training and they could be seen running at Chelsea's defenders as the Blues appeared to be working on their attacking play.

The wingers in Maresca's Leicester team proved to be key players last season and his wide options at Chelsea certainly have a big role to play in the months ahead. As Palmer is guaranteed a place in Chelsea's attack going on the outstanding numbers he posted in his debut campaign, Sterling, Madueke, Mudryk and Nkunku will be doing all they can to force their way into Maresca's starting XI to face Man City on the opening weekend.

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Academy stars involved

In one photo where Madueke is looking to attack with the ball, the ex-PSV man can be seen coming up against academy ace Josh Acheampong. The versatile defender was involved in Chelsea's training session on Monday and he continues to be involved with Maresca's first team.

On the first-team bench four times in total last season in Premier League games, the 18-year-old did come on for his senior bow in the 2-0 win over Tottenham at the beginning of May. Acheampong will be hoping more minutes come his way in pre-season but it is going to be incredibly tough with so many defenders currently at the club.

Kiano Dyer was another youngster involved in Wednesday's training session at the club's base. Whereas Acheampong made his senior debut last term, Dyer is still waiting for his big opportunity to come his way after unfortunately not getting any minutes in the four Premier League games when he was on the bench.

Andrey Santos puts in the work

Andrey Santos will be praying he gets the opportunity to pull on a Chelsea shirt over the course of the season after his time away from the club last term. After struggling for pitch time at Nottingham Forest in the first part of 2023/24, the Brazilian headed to Strasbourg in February and featured more regularly as he finished the season on a high.

Now back putting in the hard yards at Cobham, one image appeared to show Santos taking in instructions from Maresca who was stood a couple of yards away from him. Clearly a very talented player, it could be under the new head coach when the youngster gets the opportunity to wow in a Chelsea shirt and show everyone why he was brought to the club in the first place.