Chelsea have some huge holes missing in an already thin squad right now. Over the last few years we have seen the spine of the team all fade out slowly. The likes of John Terry, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole all leaving, with Terry being the last survivor.
This has left a real void in the side, a real lack of influence of this type of player. Of course we have players in the side now who are showing signs of offering a similar influence such as Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesc Fabregas. But for me there is still a hole there.
Last week Manager Antonio Conte spoke about his admiration for the way Tottenham is run and his desire to build something similar at Chelsea. I believe he is talking about getting something like the old guard of past times at the Club. A core of the team throughout the pitch who can grow and lead the club.
Ironically of course, Conte has not shown confidence to pick some of the youngsters and we have seen many of them leave subsequently. But he is highly pressured from those above him at the Club to succeed, so he simply feels he cannot afford to take such risks.
This is what I believe he was getting at with his words last week, I believe he was indirectly asking for more leeway in order to introduce some of these players. But Chelsea is a club that demands success.
With that said, irrelevant to anything else, I truly believe that for many years to come the spine of our club will feature Andreas Christensen, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham. Those are the three players who I would fully trust even right now to come in play and do an excellent job. I feel they are all showing the potential to be the new old guard, and add in alongside the likes of Luiz and Azpilicueta to fill the holes.
Simon Phillips @SiPhillipsCFC