Chelsea

Steve Nicol: Chelsea should replace Maurizio Sarri with Nuno Espirito Santo

It is that time of the year again in SW6. Chelsea are reportedly looking for a new manager as Maurizio Sarri closes in on a switch to Juventus.

And according to Sky Sports, the Italian is expected to be named as the Serie A champions’ new boss this week, which should prompt the Blues into intensifying their search for a replacement.

With so many different names currently floating around, it will be interesting to see who ends up in the Stamford Bridge dugout come the start of next season. Will it be Nuno Espirito Santo? Steve Nicol thinks it should be.

“Look how Wolves play. Look how this guy manages,” the Liverpool legend told ESPN FC (via Daily Express) when asked who should Chelsea appoint as their next manager.

“Juventus never played an open, expansive game [under Allegri] did they? If Chelsea want that, they’ve got a guy that’s proven in the Premier League. There’s your man.”

Should Nuno, though, be the west London club’s first choice? The answer is probably no when looking at where Chelsea are and where they are trying to get to.

You only have to look at their last appointment to see that they are trying to become a more positive and free-flowing team. Based on that, the likes of Erik ten Hag and even Laurent Blanc make much more sense.

But if Roman Abramovich has had a change of heart and is open to going back to a more pragmatic style then, in Nicol’s words, Nuno is your man.

In the season that has just gone, tactically, Wolves have been fantastic. In their 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 shape, they have nullified their opponents effectively before obliterating them on the counter-attack in a way that was similar to what Chelsea used to do under Antonio Conte.

If that is the direction the 2019 Europa League winners want to go in again, then by no means is Nuno a terrible shout.

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Steve Nicol: Chelsea should replace Maurizio Sarri with Nuno Espirito Santo
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