Chelsea’s title triumph last season was mainly put down to bold decision making and tactics from Antonio Conte.
The move to a three-at-the-back formation along with impressive performances from N’Golo Kante and the rejuvenated Eden Hazard helped the Blues earn their fifth title triumph.
What made it more impressive was that the Italian managed the feat without bringing in his preferred targets and with largely the same squad that had struggled under Jose Mourinho the season prior.
It doesn’t appear that Conte will have the same issue this season after spending over £100million on the likes of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata.
While the temptation will be to get his new signings on the pitch as soon as possible, Chelsea’s manager should consider sticking with the men who brought him the title.
Victor Moses, Michy Batshuayi and the departing Nemanja Matic are the men expected to make way for Chelsea’s new boys, yet the former two have had good pre-seasons after an impressive 2016/17.
Batshuayi in particular will have a right to feel aggrieved should his starting spot be relinquished after finishing last season with four goals in his last three games, including the league winner away at West Bromwich Albion.
The Belgian has also bagged five goals in preseason – more than any other Premier League player – after seemingly becoming Chelsea’s leading man while Alvaro Morata continues to settle in. Long-term however, the Spaniard appears to be his first choice.
The Italian will feel justified in playing his new signings after the success of David Luiz and Marcus Alonso last year.
When Conte shifted to 3-4-3, he brought both players into the first team with Luiz impressing as a ball-playing centre-back and Alonso putting his attacking instincts to use as a left wing-back.
But the difference between the title-winning pair and Chelsea’s new signings is that both Luiz and Alonso have Premier League experience.
Alonso played for both Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland before moving to Serie A while Luiz is in his second spell at Stamford Bridge.
Even with that being the case, Conte still waited six games before starting Alonso. He also rushed Luiz in after signing him at the end of the window, resulting in consecutive losses to Liverpool and Arsenal.
As things stand, Chelsea’s players are still riding on the title high and have a had a relatively productive pre-season so far.
Bakayoko will need some time after recovering from injury, but both Morata and Rudiger are primed to take a place in the Blues first team.
But with a packed schedule, several players to keep happy and a strong start to the season needed, Conte should be hesitant before throwing them into the fray.