New boss Maurizio Sarri is attempting to overhaul the defence-heavy system put in place by previous boss Antonio Conte with a more attractive, attacking brand.
Despite taking 12 points from their opening four games this season and sitting joint-top of the table, Makelele doubts they can keep up the pace.
“I think Chelsea changed a lot,” he said to the Daily Star.
“Before now you have a lot of teams in the Premier League, it’s competitive.
“Manchester City, Manchester United, and also the smaller teams have good players.
“So, it’s going to be difficult for them to win the Premier League.”
Makelele was signed from Real Madrid for Chelsea FC by Claudio Ranieri in 2003 for a reported £16.8m and appeared 144 times in the league for the Blues in what was a five-year spell.
He was part of the side that won consecutive Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho in 2004-05 and 2005-06, as well as the FA Cup in 2006-07.
He is no stranger to transition at Chelsea FC as he lived through exactly that as Ranieri was replaced by Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
But he is also no stranger to the fruits transition can bear so long as there is good leadership in place alongside winning football.
In Makelele’s eyes, Sarri has the potential to provide this, though time at Chelsea FC to get things right is notoriously short.
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