Antonio Conte praises Everton defender Seamus Coleman and Southampton striker Shane Long

Seamus Coleman playing for Republic of Ireland

The incoming Chelsea boss will be facing the pair with the Italian national team this summer.

Chelsea will have a new head coach next season, when Antonio Conte takes over at the club. The Italian will take over in the summer after leading the Azzurri at Euro 2016.

One of the teams that Italy will be facing is the Republic of Ireland – meaning he will be acquainted with many Premier League players this summer.

In fact, he is already a fan of some Irish players.

He is quoted by the Irish Times as praising Southampton striker Shane Long and Everton right-back Seamus Coleman.

Conte stated:

“The Irish players are maybe not well known (in Italy) but there are some very useful ones.

“A player I like a lot, for example, is that Southampton striker (Long), and then there is Coleman at Everton and the central defender John O’Shea who is a very, very good player.

“No, no, you cannot tell me that I don’t know this Irish team.”

Would either fit in at Chelsea?

Long has been in great form recently and whilst not a potent scorer the Southampton striker is a hard-worker and would be a good recruit at Chelsea – who need new striker blood at the club.

Coleman on the other hand would be a great option for Chelsea should Conte play with three at the back. The Everton defender would be perfect for the wing-back role.

But whilst the Southampton and Everton man came in for praise from Conte a move for either player does seem unlikely based on these comments.

He also praised John O’Shea, and it is hard to see the veteran Sunderland defender heading to Chelsea.

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