Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has been handed the No.7 shirt at the club for next season after completing his move from Leicester City earlier this month.
The French international is currently still on his post-Euro 2016 holiday, but will meet up with his new team-mates in the US this week during their pre-season tour.
As confirmed by the club on Twitter, he’ll arrive knowing his new squad number, taking up the No.7 that was vacated by Ramires following his move to China in January.
Kante will form a crucial part of Conte’s plans this summer, anchoring his midfield while also providing defensive coverage as he looks to replicate the type of influence he had at the King Power Stadium.
That isn’t the only change to the squad numbers either, with Pedro opting to wear No.11, while new summer signing Michy Batshuayi will don the No.23 as he looks forward to a potentially successful first season at Stamford Bridge.
Squad numbers aside, Antonio Conte will be keen to see further improvements from his players in the next fortnight as they continue their preparations for the new Premier League season.
The Blues take on Liverpool on Wednesday night, as they look to make it two wins in three pre-season games after losing their first outing at Rapid Vienna in disappointing fashion.
Meanwhile, Conte’s work in the transfer market this summer is likely to be far from done as he continues to explore ways in which to strengthen his squad further and more new squad numbers could well be announced.
Having added a striker and midfielder, a central defender is arguably next at the top of his to-do list as he looks to rebuild the spine of a team that finished 10th in the Premier League last season and is short of options at the back with John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma arguably not enough.
However, time will tell as to whether or not he can bring in one of his preferred targets between now and the deadline, with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly’s agent revealing that Chelsea wish to sign his client, as reported by Sky Sports.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 25, 2016