Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte has said that the club regrets losing Mikel Obi, John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic.
He said this at his pregame conference on Friday while praising Tottenham Hotspur and their manager Mauricio Pochettino for building a solid foundation for the club.
He described Terry, Mikel and Ivanovic as the foundation of the club, stating that Chelsea will have to build again.
The Blues will be up against Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday at Wembley.
Conte admitted that Chelsea lost some of their foundation when the experienced players left the club last season.
Conte did not give Mikel even one minute of action when he arrived as Chelsea boss last year, but he still named the Super Eagles midfielder as one of the “strong players” the club has lost.
The Italian also hinted he may play new signing, Alvaro Morata alongside Mitchy Bashuayi in the attack.
He said, “I think they are doing a great job in this year, Pochettino is doing a great job. He has built a great base, foundation for his club.
“We must do the same, we don’t have these bases. We must try to do the same. I have great respect for Tottenham, they are doing a great job They are challenging for the title.
“I have great respect for their job, I want to help my club to build the same solid foundation, we don’t have this. 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 base.
“(John) Terry, Mikel (Obi), (Miroslav) 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. We have to work very hard.”
Conte also ruled out the posibilty of playing David Luiz in midfield in the absence of Cesc Fabregas who is suspended for the game. He also ruled out Pedro Rodriguez, Eden Hazard and Timeou Bakayoko from the game.
He added, “In the past he played in the midfield, I prefer him to play central defence. We are trying to find a different solution. He is a player to play in different solutions; it is a pleasure to have this sort of player.
“I think everything is possible, but then I have to think that there is a game, the game has 95 minutes and I must have to find the solution to change the game, with different options. I have to try to think to bring on the bench the possibility to change the game.
“I can tell the only thing that we are working very hard to try to do the best for the club. Football is not good to try to create the illusion.
“The only words thought that I can tell our fans is that we are working very hard for the players to have a good season. You know very well there are situations that you can’t control.”