Chelsea’s triumphant return to the top of the Premier League table has been a journey to remember for Antonio Conte and his men. After sealing the title with a win against West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea are Premier League champions for the fifth time. After finishing 10th last season Conte has put his Midas touch on the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante, who have all been key to the team’s brilliant season.
Apart from them, players like David Luiz, Diego Costa, Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses, Willian, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro have all played their part. Herein, we take a look at the ones who made the most of the difference.
After having a lacklustre season last year, the Belgium playmaker has come back with a stellar performance this season. A change in management and formation has given Hazard more freedom going forward and less defensive responsibility. Currently, with 16 goals he has performed brilliantly. In some matches where he hasn’t scored he has contributed with some sublime passes.
After scoring 20 times this season, Diego Costa has two good seasons. He has also emulated the feat of Didier Drogba and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as the only Chelsea players to have achieved that feat more than once. However, rumours surrounding his departure are still doing the rounds. But Chelsea fans will be hoping that he stays around and continues to deliver.
In the summer transfer window, Conte made it a priority to sign Kante from Leicester City. Kante showed his ability and true class that he possess. Noticeably he is also the first player since Eric Cantona (1992 and 1993) to win successive championships with different clubs in the English top-flight.
When the Brazilian defender was re-signed from Paris Saint-Germain several eyebrows were raised. But this season David Luiz has shown a lot more maturity and discipline and made the central position in the back three his own. Luiz has matured a lot and found another level of form by improving on his personal deficiencies and has now mastered the art of covering and man-marking.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Luiz said,” I know more about football now. I have to play for my team. Before maybe I got frustrated if my team was not controlling the offensive side, and I would lose my position. I would try to do it myself. I know you cannot always play this way.”
“If they don’t want me to play football, I will find space to touch the ball and try to make the difference another way. Now I manage my game,” he concluded.