Speaking to the national press ahead of Sunday's eagerly anticipated Premier League meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley, Blues manager Antonio Conte has rued the exit of John Obi Mikel from the club.
Chelsea are lacking squad depth at the moment, with several of their former stars either sold or loaned out, and were embarrassed by Burnley on the opening day of the season.
''We need time to work, to improve. I thought this season would be difficult, we lost a lot of strong players that built a strong bases,'' Conte stated.
''Terry, Mikel, Ivanovic, and now we need to find the right way to build and it’s right to know we must have patience to build for the future.''
Mikel recorded 381 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions before transferring to Chinese club Tianjin Teda in the January transfer window, and did not play a single game under Conte before he was shown the exit door.