Do Chelsea need new signings to defend their Premier League title?
By Joe Harker
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is not happy with the state of his squad, having asked the board to sign some players in the wake of their Community Shield defeat to Arsenal.
None of Chelsea's new signings started the match, although Antonio Rudiger and club record signing Alvaro Morata later came on as substitutes. Morata did not have an impressive debut, missing his spot kick in the penalty shoot out. Conte is not satisfied with Chelsea's transfer business so far, and he still wants to sign new wing-backs to bolster his squad.
Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes the Premier League champions do not have enough players to defend their title and compete in the Champions League.
Chelsea did not have to worry about the extra games and travel around Europe last season as they were not in any European competition. Lampard said: "If we're talking about quality, I still think Chelsea have that quality, but when Conte was at Juventus he used to do the same thing in the summer. He used to push the club to buy more players to move forward.
"I think he's concerned as he's going to lose Costa, they've lost Matic. They've brought players in but I think he wants more because now they're going to be fighting on the Champions League front."
There are also concerns that Chelsea do not have anyone in their squad capable of replacing Eden Hazard. The Belgian forward missed the Community Shield game due to injury, and Chelsea missed one of their best attacking players. Chelsea currently play a 3-4-2-1 formation under Conte with Hazard as one of the pair behind the striker, but without him they looked far less creative. Hazard's ankle injury could keep him out for a further two months, so Chelsea will need some way of replacing his creative talents.
Although he has spoken of the need for new signings, Antonio Conte appeared to rule out any mega money deals. Chelsea have been linked with a big money move for Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, who could cost over £80 million. Conte said: "I think now is not the right moment for Chelsea to spend so much money on one player because we need many players.
"It's important to divide this amount of money to buy many players."
Do Chelsea need new signings to challenge on multiple fronts this season, or will the 2016/17 Premier League champions remind everyone why they are the champions in the first place?