Former Chelsea assistant coach, Ray Wilkins, believes that The Blues’ manager, Antonio Conte, is paying for the mistakes of former Technical Director, Micheal Emenalo.
Conte is said to be on the brink of being sacked following back-to-back defeats against Bournemouth and Watford, with his side conceding seven goals over the two games.
The Blues are missing a number of key players through injury, were were roundly beaten by The Hornets, 4-1 at Vicarage Road on Monday night.
Wilkins describes their performance as ‘inept’ and ‘abysmal’ but he believes Conte’s troubles are not of his own making.
Speculation over Conte’s future has continued ever since the summer, with reports claiming he was unhappy with the club’s transfer business and frustrated he was not consulted more about their new signings.
Wilkins is baffled that Conte hasn’t been given more control in the transfer market,
“I don’t know. If you’re paying a man as much as Chelsea are paying Conte, his knowledge is far superior to someone like Michael Emenalo, who they brought in to do that job,” Wilkins told Talk Sports.
“The manager’s knowledge is far superior. He knows the players he wants to bring in.
“The squad is weaker this season than the one that won the league last year. No Diego Costa, no Nemanja Matic – it’s been a massive blow to Conte.”
Costa and Matic were both key members of Conte’s Premier League title-winning team, and both were allowed to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer.
They were replaced by Spanish striker Alvaro Morata and French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, who has struggled to settle at the club and was sent off just 30 minutes into the defeat to Watford on Monday.
Former Nigeria international, Emenalo, was supposedly the man behind those deals in the summer, before he ended his ten-year association with the club by resigning as their echnical Drector in November and later joined Monaco.
Wilkins says 23-year-old Bakayoko, a £40million signing from Monaco, in particular, is not ready for the Premier League and says many of Chelsea’s downfalls this season have been down to poor recruitment.
Asked by Alan Brazil if Conte is now paying for Emenalo’s mistakes in the market, the former Blues skipper added: “I believe so, yeah.
“I believe it was Michael who made the changes.
“To actually swap Matic with Bakayoko?
“They should have brought in Morata to play alongside Costa and they should have signed Bakayoko just to play every now and again.
“He is 23 years of age and he came in from the French league, which is a bit of a doddle.”