David Luiz Said to Believe His Benching Is a Consequence of Friendship With Diego Costa

?David Luiz’s dropping by Antonio Conte over the weekend was one of the main talking points surrounding Chelsea as they prepared to take on Manchester United in what turned out to be a remarkable display.

The Blues emerged 1-0 winners, keeping a clean sheet with the Brazilian defender watching on in plain clothes, perhaps showing that there was merit in Conte’s decision – as the Londoners have found shutouts hard to come by this season.

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According to ?The Times, the Brazilian believes that Conte’s treatment is as a result of his friendship with former teammate Diego Costa. Luiz is reported as having tried to play the role of peacemaker between the manager and striker after Costa revealed that he was sent a text by Conte telling him that he was surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

Luiz, a fan favourite since his first stint at the club, was made to train on his own ahead of the win on Sunday after supposedly questioning the Italian’s tactics during a training session.

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Conte is said to have laid into his players following the embarrassment in Italy at the hands of Roma last week. And while Luiz did not react negatively to the manager’s dressing down, he was made a pariah in the following session and wasn’t even named on the bench against United.

The defender reported in at Cobham for treatment on his knee on Tuesday, his day off, but is said to be fearful for his future at Chelsea as Conte did not guarantee that he would be back in the squad for future games.

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Per the report in The Times, Luiz is worried that his affiliation with the combustible Costa may be a factor in Conte’s decision. While Willian, another of Costa’s friends, has seen his minutes cut drastically as well.

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Premier League Duo Join Juventus in Race for Lyon Defender Mouctar Diakhaby

?Lyon’s Mouctar Diakhaby is a central defender who is building a reputation of pedigree, as demand for his services begins to gather momentum with major European clubs.

Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City are joined by Serie A Scudetto holders Juventus in monitoring his situation at the Ligue 1 club.  

As reported in the Daily Mail Sport, the commanding French U21 defender is getting recognition for his composed defending and his eye for goal from set pieces in the French League and Europa League competition this season.

20-year-old Diakhaby is still very much learning the art of defending as he only broke into ‘Les Gones’ first team last season, but has quickly established himself as a regular starter in the heart of the club’s defence. 

Lyon find themselves well positioned in the league sitting third behind second placed Monaco and seven behind current leaders Paris Saint-Germain. In addition, they have already qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League with a solid defensive record. 

Montpellier's French forward Steve Mounie (L) challenges Lyon's defender Mouctar Diakhaby (R)

Due to the high level of interest, clubs will need to act fast to secure the starlet’s services, with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte seems particularly keen on the young defender.

Already having French internationals in the Blues’ squad in N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko might provide a more attractive destination than Premier League rivals City or Serie A giants Juventus. 

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Diakhaby, who is of Guinean descent, has shown he has quality and has already represented France at U18 and U19; he currently has made five appearances and scored one goal for the U21s. 

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FanView: Why Michael Emenalo’s Departure Is a Big Loss for Chelsea

?Chelsea confirmed on Monday afternoon that technical director ?Michael Emenalo had stepped down from his role at the club after being at the club for ten years. 

The news of his resignation, which was shared on all of Chelsea’s social media platforms, was met upon by the majority of ‘supporters’ as a positive move for the club going forward. Some even couldn’t hold back their happiness it seems.

??However it’s hard to understand why there is such positivity behind this major exit for the club. Too much celebratory behaviour from those who most likely didn’t even truly know what Emenalo’s job was at Chelsea.

Well it’s time to set the record straight. From the ?official club statement, his role was technical director. This meant he was in charge of ‘supporting the work of the first team management, leading the club’s international and domestic scouting network and assisting in driving the technical programmes of our academy and international youth network.

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Throughout his time in the role, he scouted players like Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, but also let’s not forget the ones that got away during their time at the club; Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to name a couple who are now flourishing at Manchester City and Manchester United respectively. 

Emenalo was used as a scapegoat at Chelsea especially in the transfer dealings even though the negotiations were left with Marina Granovskaia. Some signings didn’t work out but more often than not they did, and he was only recognised for his errors. 

On Sunday afternoon after the Blues beat Manchester United 1-0 at home, Emenalo was seen appreciating youngster Andreas Christensen who has finally made it at Stamford Bridge after spending several years out on loan to prove himself.

His importance to Chelsea hasn’t been noticed by supporters of the club with many just wanting the Nigerian out of the club but board members and specifically owner Roman Abramovich thought very highly of him.

Emenalo was thought to be one of Abramovich’s trusted allies and who he could call upon at any moment and back in 2013, as reported by the ?Times and many won’t of even heard of this, the technical director offered his resignation to the club after Jose Mourinho returned to the Bridge. It was simply, just rejected. 

At the events which unfolded when the Portuguese came back, may tell us why he left. As mentioned previously, De Bruyne and Lukaku weren’t given chances and left the club. Hard work all undone. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but Emenalo hasn’t put a significant step wrong. 

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During his ten year stint at Chelsea, the Blues have won three Premier League’s, three FA Cups, one League Cup, a Europa League and the biggest one of the lot, the UEFA Champions League. It wasn’t just the first team though was it, his work extended into the academy and they have been nothing short of successful haven’t they? Six FA Youth Cups and two UEFA Youth Leagues.

With leaving on his own terms, handing in the resignation leaves Chelsea having to reshuffle their hierarchy and there’s likely to be disappointment, especially for Roman Abramovich. Letting Emenalo depart would have been out of respect for someone who has played an instrumental part of the success which the club has enjoyed. 

??Time will tell come January when huge signings may not come through the door, and you won’t be able to blame Michael Emenalo for being unable to negotiate since that wasn’t even his job. 

Replacement wise, potential moves for Carlo Ancelotti or Michael Ballack are being talked about. Even Conte’s Italian counterpart Andrea Pirlo who has confirmed his retirement from football. 

But to criticise someone, you need to know the full story and many didn’t with Emenalo. He will be a huge loss for the club.

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Michael Emenalo Reportedly Steps Down as Chelsea Technical Director After 10 Years With Club

?Michael Emenalo has stepped down from his role as technical director at Chelsea, leaving Stamford Bridge after 10 years of service to the club.

A close ally of owner Roman Abramovich over the seasons, Emenalo was initially appointed as chief scout in 2007, before moving into the role of technical director four years later after a brief spell as first-team coach during Carlo Ancelotti’s spell as manager.

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Mounting internal tensions at Chelsea have been the subject of much speculation since the end of last season, fuelled by apparent difficulties and disagreements in the transfer market.

The ?club confirmed reports from the Daily Teleg?raph, Emenalo’s decision to step down comes in the form of his wish to back away from a potential ‘three-way power battle’ at the top of the club alongside manager Antonio Conte and chief negotiator Marina Granovskaia.

The report notes that Conte and Granovskaia have had their differences. It has long been thought that Conte had frustrations with Emenalo and his handling of transfers, but the Telegraph suggests that the Nigerian retired defender has been a big supporter of Conte.

Therefore rather than a victory for Conte, it is more likely to be seen as a blow to Abramovich, with Emenalo said to be one of the few individuals trusted to give advice by the billionaire owner.

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Despite scepticism of what Emenalo has contributed at Chelsea, the club has enjoyed incredible success during his association, including two Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League, a League Cup and three FA Cups.

In his role as chief scout and technical director, he has personally been responsible for the arrivals of numerous important players, such as Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Cesar Azpilicueta. Earlier, Belgian pair Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku were also signings of his.

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N’Golo Kante Claims He Was Playing With ‘Fear’ After Returning From Injury Layoff

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has insisted that he needs more confidence to get back to his best form after returning from a hamstring injury, according to the Evening Standard.

However, the former Leicester City star has claimed that Sunday’s narrow victory over Manchester United will go a long way in ensuring the 26-year-old stops playing with fear.

I need more confidence because when you play after this injury, you have some fear,” the French international said. “But with one-week training and this game, I am getting more confident.

I’m happy to be back. It was a long time for me to be with the staff medical team to treat my injury.

“I thank everyone for their support. The staff, the fans the medical staff,” he added. “I’m happy to be back and to come back in a winning way.

It’s more stressful when you cannot play. It is a bit strange to be outside.

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It’s another point of view. We are just a spectator, we cannot help.”

Kanté has featured in eight Premier League matches for Chelsea this season. However, his recent hamstring problem has seen him out of the Blues’ first-team for six games across all competitions.

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??Álvaro Morata was the key man for Chelsea on Kanté’s return, the former Real Madrid striker getting the only goal of the game against Manchester United. 

The Blues will now look to extend their three-game winning run in the Premier League after the international break, with an away trip to West Brom next in line for Antonio Conte’s team.

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