Five midfielders Maurizio Sarri could sign at Chelsea
It took much longer than anyone expected, but last week, Maurizio Sarri was finally announced as Chelsea manager, replacing Antonio Conte.
It was clear that Conte wasn’t happy at Chelsea, and it was no surprise to see him leave the club. He won the Premier League title in impressive style during his first season at the club, successfully switching up to a 3-4-3 system after a tough start.
However, cracks appeared in his relationship with the board, mainly over transfer business. The board were unhappy with Conte’s treatment of Diego Costa, who he told by text was no longer a part of his plans, while the Italian was disappointed by the board’s failure to bring in his top targets, and their decision to sell midfielder Nemanja Matic to rivals Manchester United.
Despite that, he was still able to lead Chelsea to victory in the FA Cup, beating United in the final, but missed out on qualification to the Champions League, which cost him his job.
Sarri joins after three impressive seasons with Serie A side Napoli, which included two second place finishes, and a third place as well. His side have played, fast, attacking football, which will excite the Stamford Bridge faithful if he can recreate that in England.
On Wednesday, he held his first press conference, during which alongside saying that he wanted to keep hold of Eden Hazard, and that Gary Cahill had a Chelsea future, he told reporters that he wanted to improve Chelsea’s midfield. Here are five men he could sign to do just that.
#1 Andre Gomes (Barcelona)
Gomes was among the hottest prospects in Europe a couple of years ago when he helped inspire Portugal to the Euro 2016 title, with Chelsea said to have been among the clubs interested then. In the end, he was given a straight choice between joining Real Madrd and Barcelona when he left Valencia, and he chose the Catalonian giants. He has struggled to settle at the Nou Camp though and looks likely to leave this summer. He appeared just 16 times in the league last season, just over half as many as in his debut season with Barca.
Barcelona have reportedly offered Gomes to Arsenal for £20 million this summer, which in this day and age, isn’t too much, and wouldn’t represent too much of a risk for Chelsea. He is the sort of midfielder that Sarri will be looking to bring in this summer. He is technically gifted, an excellent passer of the ball, and has the footballing intelligence that fit the style of play Sarri will be hoping to bring to London.