Antonio Conte warned Chelsea are going backwards

Danny Higginbotham believes the defending champions Chelsea are worse than last season

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: The Sport Review

Chelsea have regressed as a result of the players sold in the summer transfer window, according to Danny Higginbotham.

The west London side won the Premier League title with two games to spare last term after finishing seven points clear of their closest challengers Tottenham Hotspur last term.

Chelsea won the title in their first season thanks in part to Diego Costa’s 20 goals, while Nemanja Matic formed an impressive partnership with new signing N’Golo Kante.

However, the title holders made the bizarre decision to sell Matic to their bitters rivals Manchester United in a £40m deal in the summer transfer window.

Costa completed a return to Atletico Madrid on a temporary loan deal in September with view to a permanent switch at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

Chelsea have already lost three times this season, suffering surprise defeats by Burnley and Crystal Palace before Manchester City were 1-0 winners at Stamford Bridge.

While Antonio Conte’s side have struggled with defensive issues in recent weeks, Chelsea were 1-0 winners against bitter rivals Manchester United last weekend.

However, ex-Manchester United defender Higginhotham believes Chelsea have regressed since winning their title last term.

“Chelsea are worse than what they were last season. Diego Costa is gone. He was a proven goal-scorer. Matic gone. These are big personalities. They knew how to win big games,” Higginbotham told Sky Sports.

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