Antonio Conte Confirms Danny Drinkwater and Eden Hazard in Chelsea Squad for Leicester Clash
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has confirmed that deadline day signing Danny Drinkwater will be included in the champions' squad for the game against former club Leicester this weekend, with fellow new arrival Davide Zappacosta also in good shape.
Drinkwater joined for around £35m in the early hours of the morning last Friday after the transfer was granted an extension to allow its completion, while Italy wing-back Zappacosta had sealed his switch from Torino a little while earlier.
Conte on Danny Drinkwater: 'We are working with him and trying to make him in the best condition. He's working very well and in the squad.'— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 8, 2017
Drinkwater, who began his career at Manchester United's famed academy, hasn't played yet this season because of a thigh injury he was carrying, but could be in line to make his debut.
"We are working with him and trying to make him in the best condition. He's working very well and in the squad," were Conte's comments on the England international as he addressed the media ahead of the trip to the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Conte on Eden Hazard: 'He is improving a lot and I think now I can count on him. I have to decide the right minutes but he is available.'— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 8, 2017
As for Zappacosta, who will give competition to Victor Moses, Conte said, "He is in good physical condition. He knows very well which is my style and my idea. It's more simple to adapt."
Conte was the coach who gave Zappacosta his first senior international call-up after naming the player in Italy's provisional squad for Euro 2016 last summer. Zappacosta didn't make the final squad and it wasn't until after Conte had left the national team that he got his debut, though.
Much was made over Chelsea's failing to land other targets in the transfer window. Romelu Lukaku opted for Manchester United in early July, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain decided he wanted to join Liverpool, and Ross Barkley opted not to move while injured.
Conte is thought to have been frustrated by his superiors but remained diplomatic, saying: "The club tried to do its best. Sometimes you are able to buy, sometimes you are not for many reasons."