Ranking Maurizio Sarri's most important players at Chelsea
Behind every amendment is a group of willing congressmen, behind every Rabona a high-class technician and behind every panenka a playmaker with nerves of steel. But behind every successful manager is a spine; a reliable subset of players capable of transmitting instructions from paper to pitch, with unerring mastery, to the satisfaction of the man barking orders from the sidelines.
At Napoli, the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Jorginho, Allan, Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Marek Hamsik became irreplaceable cogs in the wheel of Sarri-ball, eventually pushing Juventus all the way before toiling with our emotions when it mattered the most. But the bottom line is, Sarri's Napoli had a spine, and they all played their roles remarkably well.
Logic suggests then, that at Chelsea, the Tuscan coach probably already has a spine in place. Thus, Who are Chelsea's most important players in the Maurizio Sarri era?
#5 Kepa Arrizabalaga
After all is said and done, if there's no reliable gatekeeper, the city loses all sense of security. The former Bilbao goalkeeper is considered by CIES Football observatory to be the most overpaid summer transfer, but given his age and what he brings to the to the table both now and in the long term, Maurizio Sarri couldn't care less.
Kepa's mix of bravery, intelligent ball playing, exceptional reflexes and calmness between the sticks, are different components of his optimal in-game decision-making which makes life easier for Antonio Rudiger and co.
Three conceded goals in four games is no way to judge a new signing. Chelsea's defence under Sarri is still a work in progress. But as the new era unfolds, it will be clear to all why Real Madrid wouldn't let go, and why Chelsea had to set a world record transfer fee for the 24-year-old goalkeeper.