Rafael Benítez: Chelsea are stronger now than when I took over

Rafael Benítez pays tribute to his Chelsea team for the improvement they have shown during his time in charge at the club

rafael benitez
Rafael Benítez's Chelsea host Everton on Sunday Photo: The Sport Review

Rafael Benítez has paid tribute to his Chelsea players for the improvement they have shown during his time in charge of the west Londoners.

The Spaniard will take charge of his last Premier League game for the west Londoners at home to Everton on Sunday before his reign as interim boss comes to an end.

Since taking over from Roberto Di Matteo in November, Benítez has led the Blues to a top-four finish and their first-ever Europa League title.

And the ex-Liverpool manager has been pleased with his side’s development during his time in charge at Stamford Bridge.

“It is a stronger team,” said the Chelsea interim boss. “The players have been improving and have more experience.

“With young players we say it is a team in transition with people like [Juan] Mata, Oscar, [Eden] Hazard, [Marko] Marin, [Victor] Moses. They are new players and they are doing well. They are improving and learning, and have experience of competing for trophies which is important in a top side.

“[Cesar] Azpilicueta is now an international for Spain, [Fernando] Torres is stronger and has more confidence. You can see he is doing well.

“David Luiz has been very consistent in different positions. The key thing is you can trust him, you can tell him to do this or that and he is always keen to do it. It is a bonus for a manager.

“If you see the squad it’s not as big as some people were saying. We had new players, young players who needed experience.

“If you analyse this I can understand why Roberto [Di Matteo] was playing sometimes the same team or using less players.”

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