It was a fact that clearly hasn’t been lost on Cahill, who spoke to talkSPORT about his frustrations with the current lack of squad depth.
Add in fractious negotiations over his new contract and a bitter feud with Chelsea striker Diego Costa and it’s easy to understand why the former Juventus boss rates the challenge ahead as the most daunting of his glittering career.
The opening game of the season comes at a bad time for Chelsea considering that the Premier League champions have yet to properly reinforce the squad.
“I think in the moments where they were moving more the ball, of course it was difficult for us in the midfield. The first season we came second and got to the Champions League semifinal, and I knew I needed to come back and win with Chelsea”.
I think he’s next in the line of progression, after Alex Iwobi, to actually get in there and stake a claim for an Arsenal berth.
Having re-signed for the Blues while Mourinho was still at the helm, the 29-year-old became a pivotal player as Chelsea won their 4th Premier League title in 2014. The disparity has caused tension to grow between Conte and Abramovich.
However, the arrival of Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid has all but ended Costa’s tenure with Chelsea, with a move back to Atletico being complicated due to the La Liga side’s transfer ban.
Reports said the Portuguese manager would like to work with the player again, but as nothing happened during that transfer window, the rumours ended up disappearing. It’s new territory and brings new pressure for Chelsea’s record signing. ‘The importance for me about this player, as I repeat he’s a really real good player, he’s a really strong player, very important for our team. It’s not ideal to be actively chasing three players with less than a week to go before the new Premier League starts.
Conte said his squad is small despite the Blues loaning out up to 20 players this summer to other clubs.
“As you know the Premier League is the main target”. In England the pressure is high.
Souness feels the attacking midfielder is likely to leave Anfield, but cannot see Jurgen Klopp’s side challenging for one of this season’s biggest two trophies even if they keep the 25-year-old.
“We have shown progress in that area, which shows the kids have ability”.