Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea has been spoken about so much that it seems like a done deal. Only, it isn’t.
As of now, the facts remain the same: Antonio Conte is the manager of Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri is still employed by Napoli. This remains a problem for all four parties involved. Why? Well Conte is the manager of a club who doesn’t want him. Sarri is employed by a club who has no use for him. Chelsea can’t get their transfer campaign started until this is resolved, and Napoli are paying two coaches to do one job.
At the end of the day, the bigger problem lies with Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri; however, as Conte has a huge buyout clause in his contract and will be paid very well to walk away. Napoli also have their coach in place and have begun signing new players, therefore, they are not affected by Sarri still being on the books.
Why is this such a huge problem for Chelsea and Sarri? The manager is well known for his system of possession football. It’s a system that takes time to implement as is, and this wasted time is not helping his chances of being able to do so successfully. In fact, it took a couple of years for Napoli to play Sarri’s system well at a very high level, week in and week out.
Yes, Chelsea are not reporting to training until July 9th, and the latest reports state that Sarri will be in charge by then. The players participating in the World Cup, like Eden Hazard and Willian, will report even later than July 9th, but where it is really having an effect on Chelsea is in the transfer market. The Blues have been quiet on the market thus far, and you can’t help but think it has to do with them having no manager at the moment.
One particular effect of the lost time in the Sarri signing is the transfer of Jorginho. The Brazilian-born Italian playmaker is reportedly close to a move to Manchester City. One can’t help but think if Sarri had been hired by Chelsea already, there is a chance Jorginho could move with him.
This is an important piece of the puzzle because Sarri ran his system through Jorginho. Imagine a midfield anchored by Jorginho and N’Golo Kante? Kante would fill in Allan’s role beautifully. The addition of Jorginho would allow Sarri to have the heart of his successful Napoli squad move to London with him.
Another example could be Gonzalo Higuain. There have been rumors of the Argentine striker leaving Juventus for Chelsea, but none of this can take place until Sarri is hired. Higuain would be another great, reliable addition for Sarri as he knows the coach’s style well. Pipita also had his best statistical season under Sarri and would likely welcome a reunion with the manager.
The delay in signing Sarri could give Higuain the opportunity to join another club, or even decide to stay at Juventus. Things move very quickly in the transfer market and there is no guarantee Higuain will still be available when Sarri is actually appointed.
The benefit of hiring Sarri for Chelsea is that he will coach whichever players are given to him. He is not known to make demands, unlike Conte who was vocally upset about the lack of reinforcement in the squad this past season. At this moment, Cheslea need a manager who will be happy with any group of players given to him as they are not able to spend at the levels of the Manchester clubs.
The issue will be in Sarri’s performance. It is going to take time for Sarri to get Chelsea playing his style. Over a month has passed since the season has ended, and it would have been hugely beneficial for Chelsea to hire him right away. This would have allowed them to get a head start on their transfer campaign.
Sarri would have been in the best position possible if he had the ability to work with the board to sign players early in the window. It could have even allowed him to sign one or two of his former players, whether it be Jorginho or Higuain. Having the team set for when he takes over at pre-season training is very important for a manager like him.
The way it stands now, rumors state that Sarri will likely take over the team on July 9th. If this is the case, he will be taking over a team that has many question marks. A team that does not know who will be staying and who will be leaving.
Chelsea have shown themselves to be a club who demand immediate success from their managers. Starting your transfer dealings during the second week of July under a new manager is not exactly setting him up for success. Then again, we have heard these rumors for months and the facts remain the same. Conte is the manager of Chelsea, Sarri is employed by Napoli, and who knows if this will ever change.
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