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Antonio Conte has been a smart manager ever since he took over at Chelsea last year, as he made a few signings last summer that helped the club to the Premier League title. He has yet again made some world class signings but with Champions League also to look forward to, Conte wants to make sure that he has enough armoury in his arsenal to compete in all four competitions.
He is still looking for quality additions to his side and one name being thrown around is Antonio Candreva. The 30-year old Italian star has been on the radar of the English club for quite a while now and recent reports suggested that he could be on the move, with the Italian side already looking at replacements.
However, Inter Milan have now come out and claimed that Candreva is not for sale this summer, but Chelsea are still pondering over a move for the experienced star. So, should Conte stick with this pursuit?
Born and raised in Rome, Italy, Candreva started his senior career with Ternana, a lower tier club in Italy. Three years later, he moved to Udinese, where he spent six years on loan at six different clubs in the six years he was at the club, including an unproductive stint with Juventus. He settled in at Lazio and slowly made a name for himself, establishing his name in the first team at the club regularly.
He moved to Inter Milan just last summer and astonishingly, played every league game, either from the bench or from the start. A right winger by trait, Candreva can also play in a slightly deeper role, and also as a wing-back – a position that Antonio Conte will use him regularly at Chelsea.
A specialist in set-pieces, Candreva is a technically astute player with strength and athleticism in his game. He can dribble past opponents, or pick the right pass when needed. Though he is a slight liability in defence, playing as a wing-back could be perfect for him.
He played most of his games as an attacking winger in Italy, picking up 54 goals and 55 assists in 276 Serie A games, making him one of the most experienced players in this role in Europe. He has played 47 games for his national side and is a player who can walk into the best squads in Europe.
He is also not expected to cost too much and his versatility is a must-have for Chelsea next season. Having already worked under Conte, he should not take time to adjust to any role and could be a superb backup to Victor Moses at right wing-back and to Willian or Pedro in an attacking role.
Do you think Chelsea need Candreva this summer?