Chelsea boss Antonio Conte surprise at Hazard call up

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte surprise at Hazard call up

Belgium captain Hazard has not played since fracturing his right ankle on global duty in May, and has only just made a comeback to training with the Premier League champions.

The 26-year-old forward is back in full training at Cobham and played in Chelsea's 8-0 friendly win over Queens Park Rangers at the club's training ground on August 17 but Conte was surprised to see his player included in the Belgium squad for the games against Gibraltar and Greece. I was a coach in the Italy national team and I respect the decision of their coach.

Eden Hazard played 75 minutes for Chelsea's development side in the latest stage of his comeback from an ankle injury.

However, he is not expected to feature in the senior side's Premier League fixture against Everton on Sunday.

"It's very important to give the right time to recover well", said Conte.

"We have got a very good relationship with Chelsea, everything has been open and honest". If someone thinks to accelerate the process... It's a great mistake.

Conte wants to add to his squad before the window closes
Conte wants to add to his squad before the window closesDYLAN MARTINEZ REUTERS

Hazard was a key member of the Chelsea squad that won the EPL title in Antonio Conte's first season in charge.

Instead the Italian insisted that, should the Blues draw a blank in their bid to bring in new faces, he would be satisfied with the squad at his disposal. "I don't like to talk about players at other teams, I think it is disrespectful to my players and to the team of the other player".

'Then we are going to play seven games in a month, and I need to rotate the players. Impossible. I have to rotate these players.

"My focus is only on the pitch".

However, Conte's concerns about the size of his squad were evident when asked about the potential departure of young wing-back Kenedy, who has been linked with a loan move to Newcastle.

Conte said during the summer that he needs more players in his squad to equip Chelsea to compete on all fronts this season, especially after European football returns to their schedule. It will stay on his record and a future similar offence will trigger a charge.

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