Andrea Pirlo could turn out be a crucial appointment for Chelsea if recruited by Antonio Conte for his backroom team.

That’s the view of former Blues captain Ray Wilkins after the news that the Italian midfielder, currently with New York City, is in the frame to move to a coaching role at Stamford Bridge.

Pirlo, 38, has confirmed that he will bring the curtain down on his playing career at the end of the current Major League Soccer season.

And former England ace Wilkins says Pirlo would be an obvious choice to fill a void within the staff. He said: “I said this at the start of the season because Steve Holland left, I thought Pirlo would be the ideal guy. He speaks English, he knows Antonio Conte really well and would be a great addition to the Chelsea backroom staff.”

It’s not the first time that Pirlo has been linked with a switch to Chelsea. His name was in the news ahead of a potential move to play for the Blues under then boss Carlo Ancelotti. But he chose to join Conte during his glory-filled stint as manager of Juventus. It was a fruitful partnership as the Old Lady of Turin had hands on three Serie A league titles in three years.

Wilkins believes that the understanding the two enjoy will provide a huge boost to fine tuning Conte’s management of his charges. And he added: “If you can get an ear like Pirlo’s back in the set-up it would be a massive assistance to Conte. Observation is really important.

“When you play with the elitists, which is what Chelsea are, then you need little snippets of everything. It’s only fine details that change a drawing side into a winning side. I think he would be a good addition.”

Meanwhile, Wilkins says the injury to N’Golo Kante proves he was justified to question the sale of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United in the summer for £40million.

Chelsea could got to Crystal Palace on Saturday in the Premier League without Kante, and Wilkins said: “I’m annoyed Matic’s been allowed to leave Stamford Bridge. Kante has injured himself the other night with his thigh, we don’t know if he will be playing at the weekend.

“Matic, for me, is the best holding midfield player — one of the best in the world anyway. I’m very sad that he’s left.”