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Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile exclusive interview: Chelsea defenders discuss their close relationship forged at Monaco

Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile worked together at Monaco and moved to Chelsea for a combined £75m in 2023; follow Burnley vs Chelsea on Sky Sports' digitial platforms via our live blog on Saturday; kick-off 3pm, free highlights from 5.15pm

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Chelsea teammates Axel Disasi and Benoit Badiashile share their thoughts on their defensive partnership after their time together at AS Monaco, what each other's key attributes are and whether the Blues' season is a transitional one.

They first met three years ago, when Axel Disasi joined Monaco and started playing alongside Benoit Badiashile in defence. A partnership that worked so well that Chelsea signed both players for a combined total of £75m in this calendar year.

The two Frenchmen played together 65 times and Monaco won 60 per cent of their games, with an average points-per-game ratio of 2.0. That's 76 points across the whole of a 38-game Premier League season, enough to finish third in the last campaign.

The two players, speaking to Sky Sports from the Stamford Bridge stands, know full well what they can bring as a pair.

"On the pitch you've already seen we feel great together and it works," says Disasi. "I think me and him compliment each other really well.

Badiashile (left) and Disasi (right) played together at Monaco before moving to Chelsea in 2023
Image: Badiashile (left) and Disasi (right) played together at Monaco before moving to Chelsea in 2023

"I'm perhaps more of a duels player while he likes to receive the ball and start up attacks. But it's not a case of him not being a duels player and me not being a receiver of the ball. These things, they just work well."

So surely manager Mauricio Pochettino must surely be tempted to pick these two players alongside each other in the heart of his Chelsea defence?

The Blues boss hasn't had the chance, however, with Badiashile - who moved to Chelsea six months before Disasi - on the way back from a groin injury sustained over the summer.

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Given these two players know each other very well, this journalist asks each defender to critique the other - strengths, weaknesses, things to improve.

"Axel, he's someone who is very stable and loves the duels," says Badiashile. "He's good at receiving the ball, but because he does the duels he does less of that, but he's still good at it.

"The thing he needs to work on though is his celebrations. He needs to be much calmer, way too excited! Basically shows he doesn't have the knack for scoring!"

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the 1-1 draw between Chelsea and Liverpool in the Premier League.

Disasi is equally cheeky in his analysis of Badiashile. "Very good receiver of the ball, intelligent, very good timing in the air. He needs to score more goals though! More goals!"

One reason that could keep these two apart in the Chelsea backline is the presence of Thiago Silva, still going at the age of 39 as a key figure in the team's core.

Though while Silva has the experience and know-how, both Disasi and Badiashile have time on their side - and they are using it to learn from the Brazilian defender.

"Well he was a defender who I already watched a lot when he was at PSG," says Disasi. "Because he spent all that time at PSG and what he was doing there had a huge impact on me. "Now being next to him in training, he's someone who takes their role really seriously.

Disasi (back) brands Thiago Silva (front) as a good long-term influence
Image: Disasi (back) brands Thiago Silva (front) as a good long-term influence

"He doesn't stop giving those little tips and he is always having an impact on our game. That's a good thing and I think everyone at the club learns from him as what he's done is something of a very high level."

For Badiashile, it's the opposite: "I ask him an enormous amount of questions to the point where I must get on his nerves a little!

"It's because, as Axel said, he's so intelligent and he's someone extraordinary for someone of his age. It's such an honour to work with someone of that class and everyone who works with him benefits from him and it helps us go to the maximum level."

Diasi and Badiashile are boosted by Silva being able to speak French through his time at PSG and with compatriot Malo Gusto and Wes Fofana also part of the Chelsea backline, surely the likes of Reece James and Ben Chilwell have brushed up on their French?

"Reece [James] has tried but he hasn't really got the hang of it," says Badiashile. "The English just speak English," adds Disasi.

Albeit not united by language, Chelsea are showing signs that they are coming together as a team. Victory over Fulham on Monday Night Football, to go with their Carabao Cup victory, has boosted morale at Stamford Bridge.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Fulham against Chelsea in the Premier League.

A lot has been said about what to expect from Chelsea this season, following their 12th-placed finish last time out and more overhaul - on the pitch and in the dugout - over the summer.

But one claim has been denied outright by Badiashile. "Transition? No. You can't have a transition season at a club like Chelsea. It's impossible.

"Everything that is important about a club is winning. You hear things about it being a year to get to know each other and develop together but no, because you're at a club where the results come before anything.

"This still isn't a transition season because there are still so many games to compete for titles and I don't believe that."

And no surprise that this mentality has rubbed off on close friend Disasi, with the summer signing even convinced when he first called Badiashile when Chelsea came for his services.

Badiashile (left) says Disasi needs to calm down more in celebrating
Image: Badiashile (left) and Disasi (right) are on the same page for Chelsea

"I had some questions about the group and he turned round straight away said it's one of really good quality. And he told me about the project and even though it is one, it's still a really good side.

"And since I've arrived, everything he's said has been true. Yeah, it's been a little bit shaky at the start of the season but it is a project and I'm in the same boat as him now as from everything I've seen since the start of the season, it's been really encouraging.

"We're in a very ambitious club, the supporters are used to being champions every year so we have to keep that in mind to stay sharp.

"You saw in the game against Fulham, it was a game we had under control. So it's just a case of maintaining our levels between games. At the weekend we have a game at Burnley, it's an important game to keep what we've done going."

Follow Burnley vs Chelsea on Sky Sports' digital platforms via our live blog on Saturday afternoon; kick-off 3pm and free match highlights from 5.15pm

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