Paul Merson makes bold claim about Chelsea manager Antonio Conte

The former Arsenal midfielder says Antonio Conte should take a lot credit for Chelsea's title charge

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: The Sport Review

Paul Merson has described Antonio Conte as the best manager in the world as Chelsea close in on a first Premier League title under the Italian coach.

The Blues manager was appointed as Guus Hiddink’s replacement at the end of the 2015-16 season after Chelsea finished in tenth place in the Premier League table.

Conte wasted no time signing five new players in an attempt to overhaul his squad, including Brazilian defender David Luiz and Leicester City defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante.

Both summer signings have helped to transform Chelsea into title contenders but Conte’s 3-4-3 formation has made the real difference after the Italian switch to the tactic after a 3-0 loss at Arsenal.

Chelsea have only lost two of their last 24 games since the tactical change to help the Stamford Bridge outfit build a commanding seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Speaking to Daily Star about Conte’s impact on the west London side, former Arsenal midfielder Merson was quick to hail Conte as the world’s leading manager.

“Chelsea look nailed on to win the title and it’s all because of Conte,” Merson said.

“I don’t see a better manager out there right now. When he first came in he played a certain way and, when it stopped working, he changed it quickly and decisively. He’s taught his Chelsea players a new system with three at the back, and believe me that is the hardest system to learn. Look what’s happened since.

“Almost every team that’s played them has had to change their system to adjust to it. Even Manchester City.”

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