Finally, the worst kept secret in the world of football has happened. Chelsea sacked Antonio Conte and have hired Maurizio Sarri in his place.
The Blues have had a ridiculous summer where they have been spending the majority of their time arguing with Napoli. They should have been looking at making a number of transfers instead. It looked as though the Italian would be in charge, so why did they not get on with their recruitment drive?
Maurizio Sarri Needs To Get Working On These Things
Now Sarri is the man at the helm of Stamford Bridge, they can start to get that process underway. They will need to be quick, mind. They have just under a month to make the signings they want before the transfer window shuts.
However, the new boss will have plenty of other things he will need to do this year, otherwise, he could incur the wrath of the fans and the board. If those issues are not sorted, he can expect his P45 in a summer or two.
Discontent In The Dressing Room
Chelsea are a fractured side with trouble in the dressing room. Sarri’s first port of call will be trying to fix it.
The likes of Eden Hazard, Willian and Thibault Courtois have all hinted their future could lie away from the Bridge and it will be up to the Italian to convince them they do not.
Sarri’s no-nonsense approach may not be the best method here. He may need to take a diplomatic method instead. Player power appears to have a huge impact and he will not want to alienate his squad on the very first day.
Stay On Roman’s Good Side
Sounds silly to mention, however, Conte failed to do so. Sarri’s Chelsea career will be a lot smoother if he keeps Roman Abramovich on his side.
The Russian owner got fed up with his former manager as he continued to berate his transfer policy in the public eye. Abramovich still wants to win every trophy possible, however, Sarri will need to do it by working with the club’s business model.
Marina Granovskaia effectively runs the day-to-day operations of the club, and the Italian will do well to not annoy her with remarks as well.
Make The Right Transfers
Despite the tightening of purse strings that the Russian owner is thought to be doing, Chelsea will still need to sign players.
The squad looked tired and old last season and will need all the help they can get to get back into the Champions League, let alone challenging for the Premier League title.
The former Napoli boss appears to have identified a number of targets this summer, all of whom come from the Serie A.
Alisson Becker is thought to be an ideal replacement for Courtois, should the Belgian head to Madrid. Daniele Rugani is someone Sarri trusts at the back, whilst Jorginho has been added already.
Gonzalo Higuain is another that has been identified to help boost the attacking options. The Argentine is expected to be available after Juventus’ coup of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Should the striker come to Stamford Bridge, then it is anybody’s guess with what happens to the current trio. Alvaro Morata, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi will all be slightly concerned.
Aleksandr Golovin has also been rumoured with a move this summer, following an impressive World Cup campaign. The Russian is one of the hottest prospects in the game at the moment, and Abramovich would be keen on welcoming his compatriot to London.
The move, however, would have a feel of the one for Andriy Shevchenko all those years ago. Abramovich wants one of his favourite players, so he goes and gets him.
Use And Develop The Youth
Chelsea’s involvement in the Europa League could give Sarri the ideal opportunity to develop the talented youth.
The Blues have bundles of English talent, which would only help them with the home-grown regulations of the Premier League.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi to name a few could make impacts if given the chance.
However, it remains to be seen if he will be brave enough to use them, or like others before him, sell them on for a profit.
No-one said the Chelsea job would be easy, but if Sarri gets these things right, he could enjoy a simpler life in West London.