Ever since he took charge of struggling Chelsea side in favor of Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri has made an immeasurable impact on the team that failed to qualify for the Champions League last season.
After securing the signatures of Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, the former Napoli boss has solved Blues’ problems in the midfield, which so far proved a key part of Chelsea’s success in the ongoing campaign.
Moreover, with the inclusion of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who spent the last season on loan at Crystal Palace, Sarri has assembled a powerful unit in the middle of the park.
The London outfit has started the Premier League season with five straight wins before being held to a scoreless draw to West Ham United on the road. Furthermore, up until last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, Chelsea were one of three unbeaten English teams along with Liverpool and Manchester City.
Although they currently trail the Citizens by five points, there is no doubt Chelsea will be trying to get their hands on the Premier League title until the end.
With a record of 11 wins and 2 draws, Man City currently top the Champions League table, with Bet365 putting them 4/6 favorites to claim the title. Liverpool come as 4/1 contenders, while Chelsea are handed 12/1 chances to prevail in the race.
However, Sarri will have to rush back into the market next winter in spite of his recent claims that he won’t be looking to make any new signings in the January transfer window.
Some rumors in Spain over the past few weeks have suggested Real Madrid will try to grab Eden Hazard in the upcoming transfer session, with Florentino Perez frantically trying to fill the void left by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
After Chelsea extended N’Golo Kante’s contract making him the club’s highest paid player, talks about Hazard’s potential exit have become even louder. Hence, if the Blues fail to keep hold of their headline performer, Sarri will have to find a suitable replacement.
Meanwhile, with a maximum of 12 points after their opening four Europa League clashes, the EPL heavyweights have already secured their spot in the round of 16. Having conceded just one goal in Europe so far, the Blues hold the joint-best defensive record, as they have racked up three clean sheets in the run.
Along with their Premier League rivals Arsenal, the Blues are the leading candidates to lift the Europea League title. Priced at 5/1 according to bet365, Chelsea are the top favorites to claim the prize, with the Gunners waiting around the corner at 7/1. Meanwhile, for those who prefer a different kind of fun, you should look for the best casino sites UK and try to get the most out of the unique offers you will find there. But, speaking of the Europa League, Sevilla and AC Milan, who have the quality rosters and can make something out of their participation, are priced at 12/1 and 25/1 to win the competition.
Despite the fact, Chelsea already have their place in the knockout stage, Sarri will have to take care of his team’s uninspiring displays in the final third.
Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud have scored just two goals in the Europa League altogether, while they barely added six more in the Premier League. Therefore, if looking to challenge other contestants for the European trophy, the Italian manager will have to go in search of a prolific goalscorer who can guarantee at least 15 goals in the second half of the season.
The name of Mauro Icardi has emerged as a potential solution to Chelsea’s problems in the final third. Inter Milan captain has established himself as one of the best strikers in Europe’s top five leagues over the past few seasons. However, the Argentinean star won’t come cheap even if the Nerazzurri accept to renounce his services, which at this point seems highly improbable.
A more likely option for Chelsea is Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson, who is enjoying a good season with the Cherries. Although he scored six goals in their opening 13 league outings, the 26-year-old Englishman has also provided four assists. Eddie Howe considers Wilson an indispensable first-team member, which is why Bournemouth won’t agree on anything less than £35 million.
In the meantime, Sarri’s biggest dream is Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic, who could become Chelsea player in January according to the recent reports. The 20-year-old winger is allegedly one step away from committing his long-term future to the Blues after Jadon Sancho pushed him to the fringes of BVB side this term. But, a clear confirmation is yet to arrive from London, so this news should be taken with a grain of salt.