Belfast Telegraph

Ancelotti backing Chelsea's young guns to shine

Carlo Ancelotti is ready to put his faith in youngsters Daniel Sturridge and Fabio Borini when the Blues lose Ivory Coast strike pair Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou in January.

Chelsea have been linked with a £40million move for Atletico Madrid striker Sergio Aguero in the January transfer window but Ancelotti is also ready to hand his second-string forwards a chance to shine.

Kalou and Drogba, along with Michael Essien and John Mikel Obi, will be on international duty at the African Nations Cup during January.

But the Italian coach is confident Sturridge and Borini have the talent to ease Chelsea through a difficult period.

“We have two boys with a great future: Sturridge and Borini,” declared Ancelotti.

“Borini is a very, very, very interesting 19-year-old from Bologna.”

The Italian coach has guided Chelsea to the summit of the Barclays Premier League and the Blues face Wolves on Saturday with a five-point cushion over Arsenal and Manchester United.

Ancelotti has proved the doubters wrong so far and the Italian has revealed he used the fitness model perfected by predecessor Guus Hiddink when he took charge in the summer.

Hiddink led the Blues to FA Cup final glory after their early-season struggles under Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari.

The former AC Milan boss has admitted he left many of Hiddink's methods in place, particularly with regard to the squad's fitness.

“I've gone for the very same fitness routine introduced by Guus Hiddink, without the slightest change,” said Ancelotti.

“It's a routine that has drastically reduced the number of injuries over the last season.

“I've only increased the tactical training sessions, something the English are usually allergic to,” the Italian added.

But, while Ancelotti is convinced Sturridge and Borini will flourish in January, left-back Ashley Cole is keen to see some new recruits at the club.

The club's transfer embargo has been suspended pending judgment from the European Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Cole, who is hoping to shake off a stress fracture of the leg to play against Arsenal at the end of the month, stopped short of naming any specific targets.

“Of course, every club wants to see new players and at a club like Chelsea you know whoever comes in will be world class,” he said.

“You would love to see new players but it's not my money they're spending and it's not down to me. The squad's amazing as it is.

“We're going to miss the African guys when they go to the African Nations Cup and we've got players who can fill in.

“But, of course, it would always be nice to have new signings,” he added.

Belfast Telegraph


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