Arsene Wenger has told Antonio Conte to recall loanees if he is worried about squad depth, as Chelsea have loaned out 20 players.
Conte has stated his worry over the “small” number of players available to him this season, following a frustrating summer in the transfer window.
But the Arsenal boss has told Conte to make use of his 20 players out on loan, including Ruben Loftus Cheek, the midfielder having joined Crystal Palace on a temporary basis this summer.
“I have sympathy for him [Conte],” the Arsenal manager is quoted by the Standard, “but do I feel sorry for Chelsea because they don’t have enough players? Then no. If you look at the number of players that are out on loan, they can call a few back.”
Conte took the opportunity to respond in his press conference on Friday.
Conte “not looking for sympathy” from Wenger
“My message is I am not looking for sympathy from other coaches,” he told BBC reporters in attendance at Colney.
“I think the situation is clear.”
Chelsea have made four high-profile signings this summer, but have had 12 first-team players leave on permanent deals. The acquisition of club-record signing Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid makes for a positive window for the Blues, but a lack of further signings has made the Chelsea team worryingly thin ahead of their upcoming campaign. Defender Antonio Rudiger and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko are also this summer’s Stamford Bridge arrivals.
Conte is still looking to improve the squad’s depth, and is reported to be in the race to win Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk’s signature, alongside Liverpool.
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