Top four looks likeliest for Conte
Conte has the pedigree to rebuild Blues, but a top-four finish looks like his best bet
The Italians paint him as a tireless worker who takes no nonsense.
Given how Chelsea were torn apart by dressing room unrest last season, Antonio Conte may just be the man to mould the Blues back into a united group.
He is a strict disciplinarian not afraid to shred egos or put prima donnas in their place.
Those involved in last term's player-power move which led to Jose Mourinho's dismissal will do well to toe the line.
Just ask Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon, who was once lambasted for daring to bring up the subject of win bonuses with one match left in the season (although they had already wrapped up the Scudetto by then).
That Conte's a top tactician is no longer up for debate. In his three-year stint as Juve coach, he led them to three consecutive Serie A titles, the last of which saw them become the first club in the top flight to shatter the 100-point mark with a 102 tally.
In all three seasons, he was named Serie A's Coach of the Year.
He enhanced his reputation at Euro 2016, where he got an average-looking Azzurri side to punch above their weight.
His shrewd and effective game plan wowed a worldwide audience, while his ability to foster team spirit powered them to the last eight, only to be knocked out by Germany on penalties.
A steep learning curve awaits him though.
Conte, who has never played or managed outside of his home country, will find the Premier League a whole lot more competitive.
The 2016/17 season is expected to feature the biggest pool of title contenders in recent history, with the two Manchester clubs, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal expected to lead the charge, not forgetting defending champions Leicester City and Juergen Klopp's Liverpool.
Under such circumstances, a top-four finish for Conte will be an impressive achievement in his first season in charge.
Chelsea will hope that the Italian connection works out as well as it did for them in the past.
Their last Italian manager, Roberto Di Matteo, won them the Champions League in 2012, and the one before that, Carlo Ancelotti, delivered the Premiership and FA Cup Double in 2010.
N'Golo Kante, 25, midfielder
When the Blues' plodding backline struggled last season, they seldom got support from the midfielders, certainly not from Nemanja Matic.
Moving as fast as they did for Leicester's Kante was therefore probably their best manoeuvre of the pre-season.
The defensive midfielder's athleticism, stamina and excellent positioning will provide the Blues with the protection as Conte goes about his job of rebuilding a squad riddled with defensive weaknesses.
His presence will also free up his attacking teammates to perform their primary tasks.
Eden Hazard, 25, attacking midfielder
With Conte keen to deploy Hazard in his favourite central role behind a striker, this may turn out to be the player's breakthrough season.
As the crucial creative force, he is the man Chelsea will be looking up to in the final third of the field, especially with Cesc Fabregas looking a pale shadow of his former self and Pedro Rodriguez falling short of expectations.
From a more central position, he will be a greater goal threat.
If Conte can coax the magic out of his feet regularly, he would have already won half his battle.
Diego Costa, 27, striker
It seems he's staying at Chelsea after all.
And that will be sweet music to the ears for Conte, who isn't exactly swarmed with options in the strikers' department.
Michy Batshuayi looks an exciting prospect but the young Belgian may need time to settle.
Loic Remy is back-up material at best, while the pursuit of Romelu Lukaku has yet to bear fruit.
Costa is proven quality, and plays the kind of robust game that Conte covets. If the Spaniard steers clear of injuries, he is the man they can count on to get the goals that could fire them back into Europe.
THE FINAL ANALYSIS
The lack of Champions League football may turn out to be a huge advantage to Chelsea, as manager Conte admitted.
During the 2013/14 season, Liverpool, without Champions League distraction, went on an unexpected title challenge, putting up energetic performances as their rivals juggle with domestic and European commitments.
Not only will Conte have relatively fresher legs at his disposal, last season's 10th-placed finish has also removed much of the pressure that weighed heavily on his predecessors' shoulders.
With reduced expectations, a surprise title charge will be seen as a bonus, not a must.
The previously fractured squad will be in good hands, as Conte has a reputation for building a united team. But, he will also have to draw on all his experience as he tries to guide a Chelsea side going through a major transition.
The defence, once a formidable unit, creaks with age, and certainly looks in need of reinforcements. But none has yet to arrive.
Depth is also lacking. There are too many veterans in defence and too few alternatives ready to permanently take over.
In midfield, beyond Hazard, no one looks capable of winning a game on his own.
And with Conte seemingly determined to play with two strikers, he will have to pray hard that the injury-prone Costa stays fit, and new signing Batshuayi hits the ground running.
- N'Golo Kante (from Leicester City, £30m, $52.6m)
- Michy Batshuayi (from Marseille, £33.2m)
- Mohamed Salah (Roma, undisclosed fee)