What would Maurizio Sarri bring to Chelsea?
Despite winning the FA Cup last weekend, it seems a matter of time before Chelsea part company with Antonio Conte.
The current frontrunner to take over is former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri. We have him as the 1/2 favourite to take over at Stamford Bridge this summer.
Under his watch, Napoli have become a consistent presence in the Champions League. And they ended last season with an incredible 91 points, a new record for the second-placed side in Serie A.
We’ve taken a look at what Blues fans could expect if he gets the job…
After facing Napoli back in October, Pep Guardiola said: “Napoli are one of the best teams I’ve faced in my career. No doubt about that. Maybe the best.”
It’s not hard to see why the Manchester City boss was so impressed. Sarri demands his side play very attacking football with lightning-quick passing. As soon as they lose the ball, they press quickly to get it back.
If Eden Hazard felt he was stifled by Conte’s rigid tactics, he’ll be unleashed under Sarri.
A number of Chelsea’s players have struggled to hit top form this year. After a bright start, club-record signing Alvaro Morata really struggled in the second-half of the campaign. It cost him his place in Spain’s World Cup squad ultimately.
Sarri could be just the man to help him get back to his best. Under his guidance, Dries Mertens went from an inconsistent winger into one of the most dangerous strikers around.
The manager’s work on the training ground made all the difference. Mertens said: “It feels like he has already played the game out in his head and on the field you have an extra man.”
Turning to youth?
Chelsea fans who’ve wanted to see their talented young players progress could get their wish if Sarri comes in.
This is a manager who once called the transfer market the “refuge of the weak”. Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne and Faouzi Ghoulam are further examples of players who came on leaps and bounds during his three years in Naples.
He didn’t have a youth system of Chelsea’s quality to call on at Napoli either. Rather than waste money on squad players who rarely play, the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek could get a long-awaited chance.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication