Former Chelsea defender Frank Sinclair believes Branislav Ivanovic and Kenedy could be the big winners from Antonio Conte’s appointment as Blues boss.
Brazilian youngster Kenedy has impressed at left-back and as a winger during limited game time this season, scoring twice in seven starts and a total of 18 appearances.
And Sinclair, who made 219 appearances for Chelsea during his long spell at Stamford Bridge, says the incoming Italian manager’s preference for a 3-5-2 system could be significant for some players in particular.
“Kenedy could well be one of the main players to benefit from a change in system,” Sinclair told West London Sport.
“He’s a bit of an ‘inbetween’ left-sided player, so playing as a wing-back would really suit him.
“He has pace and, although he is decent as a defender, he is not a natural left-back. But he has loads of ability on the ball, can take people on and can finish.”
A switch from a back four to three central defenders could also help Ivanovic, Sinclair believes.
The Serbian defender, 32, struggled at right-back this season but has looked much more comfortable in the middle.
And Sinclair, who also believes skipper John Terry could yet stay at the club and play as a sweeper in Conte’s preferred formation, thinks the change would benefit Ivanovic too.
He said: “Branislav has had a really tough season at right-back but playing on the right of a defensive three could really suit him.
“He doesn’t have to bomb on and get caught of position, which has happened too often this season. It’s not always easy chopping and changing positions and he has been converted to a right-back but then has had to play in the centre.
“It will be really interesting to see what the new manager does when he comes in.
“There are so many big decisions to be made with the players that are already here and the speculation about who will come in has already begun.”