Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has explained his plan for coping with his side’s injury problems in midfield.
The Blues boss is without N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater due to injury at the moment, leaving him with just Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas as his recognised central midfield options.
While this is far from ideal for Conte, the Italian tactician says he is open to the idea of using defenders in midfield.
Without naming names, Conte suggested this is how he’ll cope with a lengthy fixture list in the coming weeks as Kante and Drinkwater look set to be unavailable for some time.
David Luiz seems a likely option for Chelsea, with the Brazilian playing in a defensive midfield role in the past, but it remains to be seen if Conte will want to move him out of defence.
Conte on injuries: “We only have Fabregas and Bakayoko available. We have to find solutions. We have to put defenders in midfield” #CFC
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) October 13, 2017
‘We have only Fabregas and Bakayoko available,’ Conte said. ‘We have to find solutions. We have to put defenders in midfield.’
On the prospect of moving Luiz out of position, he added: ‘We are talking also to adapt a player who is very important as a central defender. David is one of the best.’
Conte on Luiz in midfield: “We are talking also to adapt a player who is very important as a central defender. David is one of the best”
— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) October 13, 2017
Chelsea take on Crystal Palace this weekend, which will give Conte some chance to assess the state of his squad for upcoming big games.
The Telegraph reported earlier this week that Kante’s hamstring problem could keep him out of action for the rest of October, possibly giving him hope of returning for the November 5 clash against Manchester United.