Antonio Conte: What I like about new Chelsea signing Ross Barkley

Chelsea set to announce £15m signing of English attacking midfielder

The 24-year-old England worldwide - who has missed the first half of the season through injury - nearly joined Chelsea in the summer transfer window but rejected a Deadline Day move.

"Chelsea Football Club has today completed the signing of Ross Barkley from Everton", Chelsea announced on their official website on Friday.

Toffees chief Allardyce has wished the 24-year-old well and is relieved the speculation can now stop.

Barkley will wear the number eight shirt, formerly worn by Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Oscar.

'To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it's unbelievable for me.

"I think with Kante there, Fabregas and Barkley being the runner and joining in, scoring goals from midfield, they'll be a real threat and a good midfield three".

Club director Marina Granovskaia said: "Ross is a player we have long admired and are certain he will prove to be an important player for Chelsea. He is very strong physically and has good technique", Conte added.

"I've [managed teams who have] played against him a couple of times and he's been terrific and killed us on a couple of occasions".

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The midfielder, who would have been available on a free transfer at the end of the season once his contract at Everton expired, backed out of a £35 million transfer to the champions on the final day of the August transfer window, insisting that he was focused exclusively on his recovery from hamstring surgery.

Many have questioned whether Barkley is good enough, but the fact Chelsea and Tottenham were battling for his signature, suggests that some very good judges in the game believe he is.

Conte urged caution over expectations for Barkley.

"I think it's a great move for Chelsea and I think it's a great move for him", he told Sky Sports show The Debate.

"He had a bad injury, he had surgery and he hasn't played for seven months". We have to hope to recover him very quickly, to try to help us for the rest of the season'.

David Luiz is poised to make only his second appearance since October after falling out of favour and undergoing rehabilitation on a knee injury.

Charly Musonda is available following a groin problem.

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