Gianfranco Zola: 'Chelsea have been consistent... but next season is different, I'm sure Jose Mourinho will strengthen'

EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea legend on the Blues and their need to improve again

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Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola has been impressed by his former club this season, but knows that the side must improve if they are to repeat as champions.

With Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal expected to spend big this summer in a bid to close the gap with Chelsea, the Italian believes Jose Mourinho will look to improve his squad, even if they ran away with the title.

"I think what has impressed mainly this year is the consistency that they had," Zola tells The Independent.

"Also, looking at all the other teams the have been moments in which Arsenal, for example, had eight wins in a row, scoring goals and not conceding. Manchester United had their own run, Liverpool had their own spell.

"But Chelsea have been consistent throughout the year, week in, week out, even when they were not playing at their best, they managed to get results.

"I think that is the key in a long, competitive season like the Premier League. If I go back to my days, on certain days we were able to play fantastic football - the problem we had at that time was that maybe we weren't able to keep that for a long run."

Zola added: "Next season is completely different. Chelsea will have to find ways to improve what you got.

"It's not easy [to find a weakness] when you have a dominant team like they had this year. I'm sure Jose will be looking to certain areas where he can strengthen, maybe not as regular players, but those who can be ready to come on and give some competition to the others. 

"I'm sure they will do something, just to strengthen the squad. Not many but quality. They has been talk about [Real Madrid defender Raphael] Varane, that could be a good signing. 

"I'm sure Jose, knowing this league and the requirements of this league, he knows exactly where to go and what to get."

REVEALED: Zola picks his favourite Chelsea goal... not that one

Zola also believes that his former club Watford are well suited to thrive in the Premier League next season.

The 48-year-old was in charge at Vicarage Road for 18 months from July 2012 to December 2013, taking the club to the play-off final, where the club lost to Crystal Palace.

"I know the change from the Championship to the Premier League is massive, they will have to change a lot," said Zola on his former club.

Zola led Watford to the play-off final

"But I know that the club is a good club, I know how good they are in scouting and finding players - I'm sure they will be competitive.

"The supporters deserve it, I wouldn't be surprised to see Watford become a well established team in the Premier League because of the knowledge the club the owners have in football."

Barclays and their ambassador Gianfranco Zola are delighted to have given young Chelsea fan, and Spirit of the Game Hero Rachel Key, the opportunity to present the Barclays Premier League trophy to Chelsea this Sunday. To watch Rachel's story go to