Antonio Conte believes Chelsea have a tough task ahead of them in finding a replacement for departing captain John Terry.
It was announced on Monday that Terry, who made his senior Chelsea debut in 1998 having come through the club’s youth system, is to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season when his contract expires.
Having won four Premier League titles, a Champions League and numerous other cup competitions during his Blues career, Conte acknowledges that Terry will be a big miss for Chelsea.
“It is not easy, because don’t forget that, this season, some players [who have left] have been very important for this team,” Conte told a pre-match news conference ahead of the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham.
“They brought a lot of history to this club and I’m talking about [Branislav] Ivanovic, [John-Obi] Mikel and, next season, also John.
“It’s not easy to find the right replacement and it’s for this reason that I continue to speak about how we have to build something important, to replace players that have been here for many years. They achieved a lot of great results for this club.
“Now we have to find, together, the new players to replace these great players and write the history for this great club and I hope everyone understands this.”