Chelsea and France legend Marcel Desailly has warned his former club against sacking their current boss sacking Antonio Conte but rather, the '98 FIFA World Cup winner believes his former side should instead look to dismissing ‘four or five’ players.
Conte who guided Chelsea to the league title during his debut season at the club is expected to leave the club at the end of the season after a disappointing second season at Stamford Bridge.
Conte's relationship with the board has soured this season due to his lack of involvement in the club’s transfer strategy and despite Chelsea’s sacking strategy proving successful in the past, Desailly believes the Blues should stick by Conte this time and should sell players instead.
"What was working last season with Conte cannot
suddenly not work this season,’ Desailly told the Daily Mai.
"Before they’ve changed the coach, and kept the players. This time they should keep the coach and look to move four to five players on. Your best players’ performances have dropped and Chelsea did not get the correct players with the correct strengths or another top player in the summer.
"Players like [Victor] Moses and [Marcos] Alonso played a magnificent season last year but they were in need of support this year. It’s been a collective failure at Chelsea this season. I don’t think the situation that Chelsea are in is Conte’s fault – you must give him that season."
Conte’s anger with the Chelsea board stems from their decision to allow Nemanja Matic to join Manchester United, while the club failed in efforts to sign targets such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Romelu Lukaku and Fernando Llorente.
And Desailly believes the club’s decision to let Matic and Diego Costa go last summer has cost them dearly.