Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has pleaded that new buy Alvaro Morata be given more time to settle down into his role as first-choice striker after the former Real Madrid man got thrown in at the rough end and he ended up missing his penalty kick as the Blues succumbed to a shootout loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday.
Spain international Morata will be tasked with leading the line at Stamford Bridge this season after Conte froze Diego Costa out of the first-team picture and the Italian urged patience with the former Juventus star.
"Morata needs to work," he said. "It is normal, he has been with us for only one week. It is very important to have a good physical condition and to understand our idea of football.
"He needs a bit of time but it is normal. It is the same for [Antonio] Rudiger and [Tiemoue] Bakayoko."
Conte was coy when asked if he had been satisfied that Chelsea lost the chance to sigh Romelu Lukaku who joined Manchester United instead of the champions, with Nemanja Matic also moving to Old Trafford.
"I think I have already replied to this question and I hope in the future to have a different question," he added, bridling at the line of enquiry.
"About whether there is the necessity to improve our squad, about our strikers – I replied.
"My reply is always one [thing], otherwise it means I was telling you a lie. The truth is the one and I repeat always the same."
Chelsea begin the defence of their title on Saturday with a home game against Burnley.