Much has been made of Chelsa’s appointment of Maurizio Sarri. He seemed to be a sensical capture in the summer, given his play style and reputation across Europe, but it hasn’t quite worked out for him so far.
The Blues are still doing well, and they remain in the top four, but it’s fair to say that the manager has underwhelmed so far.
In truth, Sarri’s regime so far is reminiscent of Andre Villas-Boas’ run at Stamford Bridge. He started well but quickly failed to make a consistent impression – much like the new Chelsea boss.
In fact, now even his transfers are beginning to look reminiscent of Villas-Boas’. According to the Mirror, Sarri wants to sign Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj, with Cesar Azpilicueta’s spot in the team likely to be under threat as a result.
Villas-Boas made a point of replacing many of Chelsea’s core players, like John Terry and Frank Lampard, in favour of a younger, more youthful team, and this appears to be what Sarri wants to do with Azpilicueta.
That’s despite the fact that the right-back has looked good this season, and the fact that he’s the current club captain.
Of course, Sarri knows Hysaj from his time at Napoli, and so this is another case of the manager looking to bring in players that he knows. However, it’s hard to see this one working out for him, as Azpilciueta is not only fantastic on the pitch, but he’s so good off of it, too.
There’s a lack of leadership at Stamford Bridge, and Azpilicueta provides it in droves. He’s become the focal point of the team from a leadership standpoint, and that can’t be ignored.
Sarri’s tenure risks ending in disaster if he starts messing with the core players at the club. Azpilicueta is one of Europe’s best right-backs, and this move simply wouldn’t make sense. He needs the Spaniard now more than ever.