?Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says his squad were in a state of emergency against Tottenham due to injury problems.

The former Italy boss also conceded that it is difficult to bring through young players while also aiming to win the Premier League, with Chelsea having plenty of talented youngsters on their books, but few getting chances at first-team level.

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He said, as quoted by the Daily Mail: “You must decide if you want to fight for the title or develop your young players. Two different ways.”

The Blues were without star man Eden Hazard for last Sunday’s 2-1 win at Tottenham, while fellow forward Pedro had to settle for a spot on the bench, with the Spaniard appearing as a substitute and contributing the assist for Marcos Alonso’s winner.

Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill were also missing through suspension and Conte admits his squad were in a bad state prior to the morale-boosting victory over Spurs.

He added: “When you are without four players, it’s an emergency.

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“If young players stay and play regularly with Chelsea, the question is this: Manchester City and other clubs, are there players from the academy playing regularly? I don’t know.”

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has made Premier League appearances for Chelsea, but is on loan at Crystal Palace this season, while Tammy Abraham, who scored 23 goals in 41 Championship appearances for Bristol City last campaign, grabbed his first strike in England’s top division for Swansea against the Eagles.

The likes of Ola Aina, Lucas Piazon, Kurt Zouma and Izzy Brown have also departed on temporary deals.


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