Authors Posts by Francesca Ceciarini

Francesca Ceciarini

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Chelsea full-back Baba Rahman has returned to Schalke 04 on loan after recovering from a knee injury.

An official statement on the Blues website read:

Baba Rahman has today joined Schalke on loan until the end of the 2018/19 season.

The Ghanaian defender, 23, re-joins the Bundesliga side, where he spent the first half of last season before sustaining a knee injury during the Africa Cup of Nations.

Baba signed for Chelsea from another German side, Augsburg, in the summer of 2015 and made 23 appearances during his maiden season at Stamford Bridge.

Schalke are currently third in the Bundesliga.

 

The Ghana international made 21 appearances on loan at Schalke in the 2016-17 season before his campaign was cut short by a cruciate ligament injury while in action for his country at the African Nations Cup last January.

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Chelsea youngster Charly Musonda has joined Celtic on an 18-month loan deal, the clubs have announced.

Musonda, 21, stayed at Stamford Bridge in an attempt to break into the first team rather than leaving on loan last summer, and signed a new deal until December 2022.

But he has since made just 7 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions, only 2 of which were starts.

Chelsea believe that working under former Blues academy coach Brendan Rodgers could kickstart Musonda’s senior career in football.

Celtic published an official statement that read:

“The Belgian Under-21 internationalist has been a much sought-after player in this transfer window, with many of Europe’s top clubs keen to take him on loan,” a Celtic club statement said of the move.

“However, both the player and his parent club believe that his football development will be best served at Celtic Park under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers.”

 

 

 

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Antonio Conte admits Michy Batshuayi’s first goal was the most important momento of the clash, as Newcastle defended really well in the first 30 minutes of today’s FA Cup clash:

“I think it was a good performance. It wasn’t easy because Newcastle played a game, prepared a very defensive game with a lot of players on the edge of the box and the three midfielders very deep and the two strikers to mark our central midfielders. It was very important to score the first goal. Pedro and Hazard created a fantastic chance with their ability and the final pass for Michy and then he scored.

“After the goal the situation was more simple, in the second half we controlled the game and didn’t risk to concede a goal.

“We must be very happy because it wasn’t easy. When the draw faces you against another Premier League team it isn’t easy. You can see with Liverpool’s game against West Brom and Spurs’ game this competition is very dangerous for the great team.

Speaking about Batshuayi‘s performances and brace, he said:

“I don’t know if it was his best game, but it was important for him and the team. For the striker to score it is important for the confidence, we are talking about a young player with a great potentiality.

“Today I think I showed that for me the most important thing is the present, not the future. Otherwise I would have taken other choices.”

“Michy, we are talking about a player that has worked with us for one year and a half and in this time he has improved a lot, in many tactical situations. We are talking about a powerful player, he is strong physical, and has a lot of space for improvement. My task is to work with him and every single player, to try to improve them.

“I am very happy for him and the team, now we have to continue in this way and it is very important for us to recover for the next league game against Bournemouth.”

When asked about what he didn’t like in the game, Conte added:

“If you see our squad, we don’t have three, four or five strikers, we have two. We have Morata and Batshuayi. Morata is out, there is also Hazard if I decided to play with Hazard, Willian, Barkley or Pedro. Hazard is a different striker but he can play in this way. We have played

“My task is to exploit every single player in the best way. For sure the performance depends a lot if the striker scores or not. For me it is important to score as it puts you in the position to win. But at the same time it is important that the striker has to work for the team in the best way. Then we have to decide whether or not we continue to work with two strikers or have three, like Alvaro and Batshuayi. I would be happy in both cases.

On the chances of Batshuayi to go on loan:

“I don’t know what will happen, but when you have to play in the Champions League and then FA Cup, if you have also three strikers it is the minimum. Then I repeat we have to see what will happen in the transfer market. We are talking about another player, I don’t know if we can take another player.

“But it doesn’t mean that if we take another player that Michy will go on loan. We have a lot of competitions, three strikers is the minimum.”

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With today’s brace against Newcastle Michy Batshuayi brings Chelsea to FA Cup fifth round: two goals scored in the space of 13 minutes in the end of the first part and Marcos Alonso that seals the win with a brilliant free-kick of his in the second half.

The Spanish full-back was also the protagonist in the first goal play, since it was him who assisted the Belgian striker after a great play by Pedro and Eden Hazard.

Just before half-time Batshuayi was released again by Hazard in a counter-attack that caught Newcastle out once more but as the striker shoots, the ball loops up off the shins of Jamaal Lascelles and over the helpless Darlow.

In the second half the Blues simply controlled the game but were able to create some dangerous chance as well especially with Pedro, who was the man of the match today.

At minute 72′ Marcos Alonso had the chance to realise his 7th goal on direct free-kick in this season and he succeeded, sealing the game and fixing the score on the 3-0.

 

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CHELSEA – Caballero; Rudiger, Christensen, Cahill (c); Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Batshuayi, Hazard.

Subs: Eduardo, Ampadu, Moses, Fabregas, Barkley, Musonda, Hudson-Odoi.

Manager: Antonio Conte

NEWCASTLE – Darlow, Manquillo, Mbemba, Lascelles (c), Clark, Haïdara, Shelvey, Saivet, Hayden, Ritchie, Gayle.

Subs: Woodman, Yedlin, Dummett, Diamé, Atsu, Murphy, Joselu.

Manager: Rafa Benitez

 

Kick Off: 1.30 pm GMT

Venue: Stamford Bridge, London, UK

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte spoke about his working method, claiming that for him it’s not easy to apply it when games are scheduled every three days:

“The way that I do my job, you lose a lot of energy because I am not a manager who stays in his office, decides a formation and you have your staff to work on the pitch.

“I’m a coach and my life is on the pitch to try to improve the players and try to put my idea of football on the pitch. In this way you spend a lot of energy, to prepare the game every two days.

“When I was the coach of the Italian national team, I had the opportunity to come to a fantastic country, in one of the best leagues – maybe the best league – around the world, to face this type of situation and I enjoy it a lot.

“If you want an easy life, you make an easy decision, and I think to come and be a coach in England, in this league, you don’t have an easy life because in every game you need to fight a lot. If you play in the FA Cup or you play in the league, it’s always the same,  you have to fight a lot.

“For sure, I am enjoying a lot my time here. I am really proud of what I have achieved, because to work in this way, you must be really proud for what we are doing, me and the players.”

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AS Roma are keen to keep Edin Dzeko after the striker has rejected the deal Chelsea have offered to him.

The Blues tried to propose a 1 year contract with the option to new it for another year to respect their policy about giving only 1 year deals to over 30 but the Bosnian striker ( who will be 32 in March) rejected it and demanded a 2 year contract plus an option for another year to the Stamford Bridge side.

Roma and Chelsea have already agreed a £ 26m fee for the transfer but now the deal is hold until the former Manchester City forward and Roman Abramovich club won’t agree personal terms.

According to ChelseaNews24 sources, Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco is getting nervous for the prolonging negotiation and is not keen to let him go anymore, also because the Giallorossi are now short of time to look for a replacement and are still in the race for a Champions League spot. So the deal is about to be called off soon.

In the last game against Sampdoria – that had been in hand since last September – Dzeko scored the equaliser at 94′, showing again his importance for Roma.

Furthermore, the Bosnian striker and his wife recently bought a house in Rome – having planned to live in the Italian capital for several years- and are not really keen to leave the Eternal City in this moment.

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New Chelsea signing Ross Barkley made his debut with the Blues shirt in the Carabao Cup semifinal against Arsenal last Wednesday when he replaced injured Willian.

The former Everton attacking midfielder didn’t impressed but it was his first appearance after a very bad hamstring injury occurred last August that ruled him out until the other night.

Today, Antonio Conte claimed Willian is still injured and sidelined for the next games, then he revealed the England international is ready to start:

“After a bad injury you need a little time to be fit 100%, if you want to speed this process up he has to play, not only training during the week, after Willian and Morata‘s injury, we don’t have other options.”

 

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte revealed three players are not in contention for next Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Newcastle:

“Morata, Willian, Courtois are out,” the Italian said.”

When questioned on their recovery time, he claimed:

“I don’t know because it’s very difficult to tell today how many days they need to come back.

Morata has got this problem in his back, Courtois received a kick in his ankle, Fabregas trained today with us and tomorrow I will check his form.

Willian is out and he will have a scan today to value the extent of his injury.”

During this afternoon pre-match press conference Conte was also questioned about this winter transfer window, that is about to close but, again, he told he has nothing to do with signings, giving all the responsibility to the club:

“As you know very well the club will inform you if there are any news, as I repeated before and I say every three days, I will be very happy to continue to work with my players, to continue to work with some players, my opinion and my mind doesn’t change after only three days.

“I am repeating always the same thing, I am the coach, my task is to try to do the best for this club and to try to improve my players.”

As I said before, for the transfer market there is the club, I don’t speak about this, if there are news they will inform you

When asked if he will be at Chelsea next summer, Conte replied:

Nothing has changed since last summer, I am happy to for with my players and to work for this club, I am happy to try to put everything, all myself, for this job every day.

“I think every competition is important, in Carabao Cup we tried to go until the final, we reached the semifinal and then we lost against Arsenal. Now there is this other competition, FA Cup, we will try to go to next round but as you know very well this competition is very difficult and our opponent have the same idea.”

Conte was also asked about what changed respect to last season with games played every three days in this one:

“I think the players are happy because they want to play every game and this kind of situation is more difficult for the coach, not for the players, because they love to play and don’t have training sessions.”

Ross Barkley made his debut with Chelsea shirt against Arsenal last Wednesday and the manager revealed he is ready to start:

“After a bad injury you need a little time to be fit 100%, if you want to speed this process up he has to play, not only training during the week, after Willian and Morata’s injury, we don’t have other options.”

 

 

 

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Chelsea full-back Abdul “Baba” Rahman has travelled to Germany to complete a medical ahead of his proposed second loan move to Schalke 04, with Die Konigsblauen sporting director Christian Heidel confirming that the deal is close to completion.

Reports from Sky Germany claim the Ghana international, who made 21 total appearances during his first spell at the Bundesliga side, flew out to undergo medical checks today were.

This was subsequently confirmed by Heidel, who indicated that an agreement was near but stressed it hasn’t finalised yet:

“We’re on the home straight with Baba,” he claimed in a press conference today.

“He’s due to undergo a medical here, but the deal is not complete yet. He got some minutes with the Chelsea reserves recently. We’ll give him the time he needs, but the medical will reveal more.”

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