Nemanja Matic is a "great loss" for Chelsea says Antonio Conte

Rufina Vignone
Agosto 13, 2017

The Blues sold the Sebian global in a £40million deal, despite the midfielder playing a pivotal role in the Blues' Premier League title win last season.

Frank Lampard has described Nemanja Matic's transfer to Manchester United form Chelsea as "strange" and is backing the Serb to be a success at Old Trafford.

"Matic knows very well what I think about him", Conte is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

Chelsea have made four signings - Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Willy Caballero - this summer, while allowing Matic, Nathan Ake, Asmir Begovic, Nathaniel Chalobah, John Terry, Kurt Zouma and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to leave either permanently or on loan.

He said: "We have to rest well because we have a very important game on Sunday against West Ham".

"I think you saw that previous year", he said.

"It would be silly to dismiss Chelsea after the way they played so dominantly a year ago but looking at the teams, I think City and United will be up there and the teams to watch".

"He had a good fight against two good central defenders and I'm happy with his period and I'm happy with the way he fits into - I'm not exhausted to repeat - an incredible group". Six teams are very strong and you must be prepared. The transfer market is not finished.

"It won't be easy".

"Alvaro is a really good player, he's still young despite having a lot of experience", Conte added.

"Bakayoko is a good signing for us", Conte said in further quotes published by the London Evening Standard ahead of the new campaign. "It's a great challenge for us to try and retain the title, but we are working hard".

But he wants a regular starter this time around, and with the return of Champions League football on the cards, he is well aware of the need to find someone he can rely on week in week out. "I think I had the benefit of realising how good he is when he's playing just in front of you - on and off the ball".

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent.

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