The rationale behind Chelsea’s switch to 3-4-3 was clear.
The Blues look much more compact in the centre of the pitch, and they have the pace to make overlapping runs on the counter through the use of their wing-backs.
However, in their 1-1 draw with Burnley back in February, the Clarets were able to expose a weakness.
Antonio Conte is still struggling to find a balance on the two sides of his defence. The left side still appears a little weaker than the right, and that’s something more astute opponents are going to start latching onto and targeting.
As well as Chelsea have been doing, Conte is not entirely happy with his defence. That is to say, he has concerns about the long-term viability of his current line-up, so he is already planning on making a few tweaks next season.
The London Evening Standard claim the Italian has therefore turned his eyes to the impressive back four unit at Southampton.
Chelsea’s interest in Virgil Van Dijk is no secret, and they are far from the only top club monitoring the Dutchman.
There are two other Saints defenders upon whom Cante is casting his eye, however, and they are Cedric Soares and former Chelsea man Ryan Bertrand.
The fans will remember Bertrand well for his composed debut for the club, which just happened to be in the Champions League final.
Roberto di Matteo clearly had faith in him, but he didn’t last long the next season, and so Bertrand’s career at Stamford Bridge started to tail off.
Soares, meanwhile, could be brought in as competition for Victor Moses.
It goes without saying that Southampton will not be keen on this arrangement, but the club are used to having their team decimated each summer, and they certainly know how to rebuild.