- Antonio Conte has admitted Ross Barkley is not ready to play for Chelsea
- The England international still needs to adapt to the Blues’ game
- Conte says there is otherwise no issue with Barkley’s fitness
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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has highlighted his immediate concern about Ross Barkley and his suitability to play for the club after his January transfer.
The England international joined from Everton earlier this month and has been eased into the Chelsea team after missing the entire first half of the season through injury.
Still, Conte insists he has no issues over Barkley’s fitness after his return to training and that he is merely concerned that the player is not yet ready to slot in to his side’s way of playing.
‘My worry is not about his physical condition, but only to go into our idea of football, to understand the movement without the ball and with the ball,’ Conte is quoted in the Metro.
‘For this, he needs a bit of period to go into our idea of football. To understand this. My worry is not about his physical condition, but to get into our idea of football.’
Almost all players need a period of adjustment when moving from one team and tactical setup to another, but some Chelsea fans may be disappointed not to be getting more of a look at their new recruit.
Barkley has long been regarded as one of English football’s most promising talents, though he had arguably lost his way a little towards the end of his time at Goodison Park.
Still, Frank Lampard was something of a late bloomer and Chelsea fans will hope Barkley’s career can take a similar trajectory once he settles in at Stamford Bridge.