Antonio Conte sends warning to Ross Barkley after Chelsea signing
Antonio Conte discusses Chelsea's signing of Ross Barkley from Everton this month
Antonio Conte has warned Ross Barkley that he now needs to prove his fitness as he bids to break into the Chelsea team this season.
The England midfielder became the Blues’ first signing of the January transfer window on Friday as the west London side completed a deal to land him from Everton believed to be worth around £15m.
Barkley trained at Cobham for the first time over the weekend as the 24-year-old looks to stake his claim for a spot in the Chelsea team in the coming weeks.
The midfielder has not made a single appearance for Everton this season as he continued to struggle with a hamstring injury.
However, he is now working his way back towards full fitness as he bids to help Chelsea enjoy a second successful season under Conte.
Conte was clearly thrilled to see Chelsea complete the signing of Barkley but now wants to see him prove his fitness.
Speaking to BT Sport, Conte said: “I think this is a good signing for us also because we didn’t pay him a lot for his contract.
“He’s a good player but now he has to find a good shape to be able to help us for the rest of the season.”
Chelsea are now preparing for the first leg of their League Cup semi-final clash against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
The two teams played out a 2-2 draw in the Premier League when they met last week at The Emirates.