Conte Laments Loss of Michael Emenalo

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said that the loss of the club’s former technical director Michael Emenalo during the autumn was a key factor in what has been a frustrating season.

Emenalo ended a ten-year association with the Blues in early November despite owner Roman Abramovich having tried to persuade him to stay on. The former Nigerian international footballer claimed that he would be stepping away from Stamford Bridge in order to spend more time with his family.

However, it is questionable whether this is entirely true as he ended up taking on a similar position with Monaco shortly afterwards.

Emenalo was a key figure amongst the Chelsea backroom staff and one of the most trusted staff members of Abramovich. He was also one of the few calm voices in the Chelsea backroom, which is filled with emotions as can be seen by the number of managers the club has had over recent years.

Conte said: “To lose Michael, it was a big loss for us. Last season he helped me a lot during the season. This season, until he left, he helped me a lot. I remember very well he left just after the Manchester United game… For me, for sure, it was a big loss in November.”

The Blues are still considering whether to find a direct replacement for Emenalo. They have held informal talks with a number of possible candidates but will be making a final decision during the summer.

Chelsea have had a frustrating season by their standards. After winning the Premier League term, the club was never really a threat to runaway league leaders and eventual champions Manchester City. We can expect big changes to happen within the team during the summer.

This could include a managerial change and many new signings. Stars such as Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard have also been linked with moves to Real Madrid.

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