Antonio Conte has reportedly told Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel to leave the club, with Marseille the most likely destination according to Goal. Mikel is yet to figure under Antonio Conte, with his last appearance for the club coming at Anfield in May. Despite starting 19 games last season in the Premier League, the holding midfielder looks set to leave the club in January.
Also capable of playing in central defence, Conte has made it clear to the Nigerian that he has no future at Stamford Bridge and it looks as though his ten year spell at the club will soon be coming to an end, with Marseille preparing a cut price move for the Olympic medalist.
Former goalkeeper Petr Cech has also been speaking about the horror injury which nearly killed him whilst he was still wearing Chelsea colours and was involved in a clash with Stephen Hunt of Reading a decade ago. He told Sky Sports:
“Things could have been different. The doctors tried not to scare me too much and I never asked too much… It was a very close call… I had a depressed skull fracture. A few pieces of bone went in quite deep, that was the biggest danger. The more they go in, the left side of the brain (where Cech was injured) is quite an important centre of movement. Anything could happen.”
His praise for the medical teams of both Chelsea and Reading is clear and it seems that they may have saved his life and allowed him to continue his career as a professional footballer, with few fans begrudging him success even though he is now in the colours of arch rivals Arsenal.
Another player to suffer a serious injury is central defender Kurt Zouma, who is now nearing a comeback. Antonio Conte told the press that Zouma will face one more fixture with the under 23 squad, against Everton on Monday, before joining up with the first team squad again after eight months out:
“If it’s all OK, then he’ll come back with us. I’m very happy because I can have another central defender, a young central defender with good potential.”
Zouma’s return cannot come soon enough for Conte who is seeking to rebuild his defence in January and is keen to assess Zouma’s abilities to determine whether he will be able to adjust to the new system. Zouma is highly rated so it seems unlikely that he will not have a role to play, but he will first have to displace some of the current first choice players who have been keeping John Terry on the sidelines since his return from injury.
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