Antonio Conte drops hint about new Chelsea FC signing’s debut
Antonio Conte reveals that Ross Barkley could be in line to make his first Chelsea appearance next week
Antonio Conte has hinted that Ross Barkley could make his first appearance for Chelsea FC in the FA Cup third round replay against Norwich City on Wednesday night.
The midfielder became Chelsea’s first signing of the January transfer window earlier this month when he put pen to paper on a five-and-a-half year contract with the Blues after completing his switch from Everton.
Barkley did not feature for Chelsea in the Premier League clash against Leicester on Saturday afternoon at Stamford Bridge but he has been training hard with his new team-mates at Cobham in recent days.
The England midfielder has not played at all this season after only recently recovering from a serious hamstring injury.
However, the 24-year-old is now approaching full fitness once again and Conte has revealed that he could be ready for a run-out when the Canaries travel to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday afternoon at Cobham, Conte said: “We must be satisfied with his physical condition.
“He is working very hard these days and maybe for the next game against Norwich he could be available to be in contention.
“I hope so, because if he continues in this way, why not? This guy is not 100 per cent ready but I think he can start to help us for the rest of this season.”
Chelsea are aiming to try and defeat the Canaries after they were held to a goalless draw in the first leg at Carrow Road last weekend.
It remains to be seen whether the Blues will sign any more players in the January transfer window.