Wales boss Chris Coleman claims Chelsea teenager could be next Rio Ferdinand; while Alvaro Morata reveals he speaks to former Blues striker. Former Arsenal and England star admits Ruben Loftus-Cheek better than Tiemoue Bakayoko.
4. I speak with Diego Costa a lot – Alvaro Morata
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has revealed that he speaks to former Blues forward Diego Costa quite a lot since the Spaniard replaced Costa in the summer.
Morata was signed from Real Madrid by Chelsea in a club-record deal after Costa, who was shunned by manager Antonio Conte.
“People remember [Costa at Chelsea],” Morata told AS. “I speak to him quite a lot. There was a chance that we might have played together but in the end that didn’t happen.”
Morata also netted during the break as Spain defeated Costa Rica 5-0.
3. Ruben Loftus-Cheek better than Tiemoue Bakayoko – Ian Wright
Ian Wright has suggested that Chelsea would have been better off showing more faith in Ruben Loftus-Cheek than splashing out £40m to sign Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco.
The 21-year-old felt forced to leave Stamford Bridge during the summer to seek first-team football elsewhere. The young midfielder is now at Crystal Palace on a season-long loan deal.
Loftus-Cheek has performed well for a poor Palace side since arriving. His performance made him earn a first senior England cap in Friday night’s goalless draw with Germany. The Blues youngster was voted Man of the Match in that friendly.
“I watched Bakayoko the other day up front or playing further forward against Manchester United and he never did anything in that game that made me think that he’s a better player than Loftus-Cheek,” he told ITV Sport.
“Now I’m not knocking Chelsea because Chelsea can do whatever they want but the fact is that surely you’ve got to give the guy a chance. I’ve seen him and he’s better than Bakayoko for me.”
2. Ethan Ampadu could be next Rio Ferdinand – Chris Coleman
Wales boss Chris Coleman has claimed that Chelsea teenager Ethan Ampadu could ultimately follow Rio Ferdinand’s path of developing into a world-class centre-back.
Ampadu, 17, made his Wales debut in Friday night’s international friendly against France.
The former Exeter City youngster played in central midfield for his country; while he has also operated in that position for Chelsea during his two EFL Cup appearances this season.
Coleman, however, has said that the youngster could eventually develop into a centre-back in the mould of former Manchester United and England great Ferdinand.
“He’s capable of playing both [positions]. His frame, athleticism, and understanding of the game, he’s a great communicator for someone so young. So at the moment, it’s a tough one to call,” Coleman told reporters.
“He could end up playing holding midfielder or as a centre-back. He’s got a long way to go before you can liken him to someone like Rio Ferdinand but I remember him coming on at West Ham in midfield, he gravitated into a centre-back.”
“Probably, in the last 20 years, Rio has been the best centre-back in the Premier League. Your modern day centre-backs start to play and you need to be confident in possession. He’s [Ampadu] a good communicator and a good all-around player.”
Ampadu made 13 appearances for Exeter last season before joining Chelsea ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
1. Gianfranco Zola in frame to replace Michael Emenalo
Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola is reportedly among the contenders to replace technical director Michael Emenalo at Stamford Bridge.
The 52-year-old surprisingly stepped down from his position earlier this week after six years in the job, catching owner Roman Abramovich by surprise.
Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo have both been linked with the role. According to The Sun, there is another legendary player in the mix as Zola is being considered by Blues chiefs.
Zola spent seven years in West London during his playing career and has previously been voted the club’s greatest ever player in a fan poll.
The report suggests that the Italian has been targeted as the ideal candidate. Now Zola can cool growing tensions between boss Antonio Conte and director Marina Granovskaia.