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Conte pencils in Ross Barkley for his first Chelsea appearance next week in FA Cup

Chelsea Training and Press Conference Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Ross Barkley will not yet be fit enough to take part in Saturday’s Premier League match against Leicester City, but in the pre-match press conference, Antonio Conte hinted that Chelsea’s new signing could be set for his debut in the following game, against Norwich City in the FA Cup third round replay.

“We must be satisfied with his physical condition. He is working very hard these days and maybe for the next game against Norwich he could be available to be in contention. I hope so, because if he continues in this way, why not? This guy is not 100 per cent ready but I think he can start to help us for the rest of this season.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC

Given the fixture congestion and the importance of the games themselves (League Cup final on the line, etc), adding quality depth like Barkley could indeed pay off nicely in the second-half of the season as Chelsea look to finish top four and make it as far as possible in the three knockout competitions.

Speaking of Barkley, here he is with a lovely finish from training. Hopefully we’ll see something similar in the games as well.

@rossbarkley #CFC #Chelsea

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