Chelsea in transition, admits Benitez

Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has said that the club are in the middle of a transitional season with older players moving closer to the exit door and younger players coming in to replace them, the Guardian has reported.

Benitez added that the club’s hierarchy has acknowledged the current state of the Chelsea side and adjusted their expectations accordingly. The Blues have been one of the more active Premier League sides in the first week of the transfer window, selling Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool, signing Demba Ba from Newcastle United and reportedly coming close to finalising a deal for Metalist Kharkiv midfielder Taison, with the Guardian claiming the Ukraine club have upped the asking price for the Brazilian to £11m.

The manager feels however that while Chelsea can still call upon a talented squad, the make-up of the group of players at his disposal is in a state of flux. “The team is a good team,” Benitez said. He continued: “This year you can see is a year of transition, Before at Chelsea you had a lot of big names – then you could manage a lot of different players. Still, you can see that the team are very strong.

Chelsea have this year gone without the talismanic striker Didier Drogba for the first time in eight years after the Ivory Coast international was allowed to leave at the end of last season, while midfielder Frank Lampard faces a similar fate when his contract expires in the summer.

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