Maurizio Sarri has breathed life into his new Chelsea career by tipping Manchester City to the signing of Jorginho, but reports in the British media suggest he is keen to sign more than just one player from his former club this summer.
There was a feeling of inevitability about Jorginho’s proposed transfer to Manchester City, however, in the blinking of an eye the Italy international was stood alongside Sarri holding a Chelsea shirt. The conclusion of the Jorginho saga served to emphasise the influence of managers in the transfer market who are often capable of single-handedly swaying the decision of a potential target.
Maurizio Sarri is a manger who commands deep respect from his players and peers alike for his achievements in the game so far, but the Chelsea job represents his first opportunity to test himself away from the comfort of his home nation.
With the financial backing of Roman Abramovich on his side, Sarri should have access to a significant transfer kitty this summer despite concerning murmurs regarding the Russian’s inability to fund the building of a new stadium in west London.
According to the Daily Express, Sarri wants to use the funds available to him to reunite with his former Napoli talisman, Gonzalo Higuain. The report claims that the Old Lady are open to the possibility of offloading Higuain in light of their mega-money acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The fact that Sarri and Higuain previously worked alongside each other during the 2015/16 campaign before Juventus’ acquisition will certainly be a factor in influencing the Argentina international’s decision this summer.
The circumstances that have manifested at Stamford Bridge over the weekend have added a significant weight of credibility to the rumours linking Higuain with a move to Chelsea, and Sarri’s influence is largely responsible for that.
Higuain is a striker who, for a handful of critics, has flattered to deceive throughout his career, but his strongest of sceptics simply cannot argue with his formidable record in-front of goal: 107 goals from 190 La Liga appearances and 111 from 177 in Serie A prove that onlookers should not be fooled by his seemingly languid approach.
Higuain’s most identifiable personal traits relate to his rather introverted and erratic nature which have made him a figure of interest away from the field throughout his career.
The method could well be in the madness for Higuain, but a report from Goal detailing an enlightening assessment of his personality suggests that his best form arrives under a manager who can help him to suppress his hot-headed nature – Sarri could well be the key to striking a balance between head and heart.
During Sarri’s debut season as manager of Napoli, Higuain broke the Serie A record for the most goals in a single-season by notching 36 goals from just 35 appearances, including a hat-trick on the final day to clinch a startling personal achievement.
The tough loving approach which Sarri showed towards Higuain that season clearly worked wonders for the player’s form, and he later credited the Italian manager for giving him mental clarity.
Midway through Higuain’s record-breaking campaign which earned him a transfer to Juventus the following summer, he stated, “Sarri has given me peace of mind” despite spending just a few months with the new manager by that point.
Higuain’s admission bodes well for Chelsea’s upcoming campaign as Sarri’s ability to bond with the players in a short space of time is exactly what the club need following a drab, disconnected season which saw the players, manager and owner fall miserably out of love with one another.
However, in relation to the latest transfer rumour, the admission suggests that Higuain’s relationship with Sarri is bound by respect and admiration, and that could take Chelsea a long way in their bid to revamp their attacking options this summer.
Alvaro Morata’s maiden season with Chelsea ended in disappointment despite a thoroughly promising beginning, with a lack of desire and homesickness widely cited as core reasons for his dip in form.
At the spearhead of Chelsea’s attack, Morata cut a disinterested and rather meek figure who didn’t look up for the fight for the majority of the 2017/18 campaign, but the arrival of a lively character, such as Higuain, with the fire in his belly to impress one of the most important influences in his career so far could provide the Blues with their perfect replacement for the Spaniard.
The arrival of the multi title-winning centre-forward in the Premier League would be a transfer for the neutrals to get genuinely excited about. His past history under Sarri bodes well for a potential career at Chelsea, not only because of his sensational goal-scoring return under his leadership, but also due to the mental clarity the new manager is able to install within a player who reaches the pinnacle of his game when a strong influence is present to channel his emotions effectively.
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