Chelsea’s Cobham training ground was a hive of activity once again on Monday morning as players and staff returned from their holidays to begin preparations for the new season.
Along with first team regulars, such as Gary Cahill, David Luiz, and Willian, a number of familiar faces coming back from loan spells joined Antonio Conte’s group. Among them were Lucas Piazon and Andreas Christensen who returned from Fulham and Borussia Monchengladbach respectively.
Willy Caballero was the only new face to join the squad for the first session of pre-season training. The Argentine, who signed on a free from Manchester City earlier this month, met fellow goalkeepers Thibaut Courtois and Eduardo who trained away from the group of 26 outfield players.
— César Azpilicueta (@CesarAzpi) July 10, 2017
Noticeable absentees from the group included the injured Eden Hazard and the club’s new signing Antonio Rudiger who has been given extended holiday after representing Germany in the Confederations Cup over the summer.
Another figure missing from the group was Diego Costa who has been granted “an extra few days off“, according to the club.
After a brilliant season last term, Conte will be keen to hit the ground running as the Blues look to retain their Premier League title.
Chelsea’s first competitive match of the new season will be against North London rivals Arsenal who they play at Wembley in the Community Shield on the 6th August.