Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has leaped
into the defence of Gonzalo Higuain amid his struggles during the opening two
matches for the club. The Argentine joined the Blues on a temporary deal from
Juventus during the backend of the January transfer window and he has since
started against Sheffield Wednesday and Bournemouth without any success.
As such, a section of the Blues faithful
have already questioned the signing of the Argentine but Sarri, who has
previously managed the striker at Napoli, has urged for patience with the
marksman, he said: “He is still not at top fitness and it shows, coming
back from injury last month and the market meant he did not train well. He has
to find his best condition.”
The Blues have had a genuine weakness in
the striking department this term with neither Alvaro Morata nor Olivier Giroud
sufficiently impressing during the first half of the campaign. Due to this, the
west London giants were recommended by Sarri personally to recruit Higuain but
so far, the move has not borne fruit with the 31-year-old yet to adjust to the
demands of English football.
Still, the Italian tactician remains confident that the striker can find his scoring boots and he has the perfect chance to do when a struggling Huddersfield Town make the west London trip this weekend. The Terriers are winless since beating Wolverhampton Wanderers during the month of November and they are widely fancied to succumb another defeat with the Blues expected to provide a strong response after the midweek embarrassment at Bournemouth.
The Capital outfit suffered a shock and
unexpected 4-0 loss at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night and the outcome
has dropped them from the fourth position on the table on the goals scored to
Arsenal. The margin of defeat was the Blues’ worst of the Premier League era.
Croatia international Mateo Kovacic has indicated that he is not contemplating about his club future beyond the current campaign. The midfielder made the season-long loan to Chelsea from Real Madrid during the previous transfer window and he has since been a regular feature under Maurizio Sarri with 15 appearances across all competitions.
Speaking in press conference, Kovacic highlighted that he is pleased to have made the move to Stamford Bridge during the summer and he is enjoying the proceedings under the tutelage of Maurizio Sarri. He added that he is not thinking what will happen beyond the current campaign where he may have to return to the Bernabeu.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri does not believe he can guarantee regular gametime for Ruben Loftus-Cheek despite his stunning performance against BATE Borisov in the Europa League. Loftus-Cheek has barely featured for the Blues since the start of the current campaign but he managed to excel during the midweek European game against BATE where he came up with his maiden hat-trick in a comfortable 3-1 win.
Speaking in a press conference, Sarri acknowledged that Loftus-Cheek has managed to adapt to his style of play but that may not assure him of regular gametime, he said: “We have four midfielders and three of them have the same characteristics. They are offensive midfielders, only one has other characteristics – [N’Golo] Kante is a defensive midfielder. So it is very difficult to put in the starting XI two midfielders with the same characteristics. We have a tactical problem with the midfielders. At the beginning of the season he [Loftus-Cheek] was a very good player and now he is a good player that is more suited to my style of football.”
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has indicated that Ruben Loftus-Cheek was only rested for the recent Premier League game versus Southampton. The England international made his maiden start for the Blues during the midweek Europa League triumph over MOL Vidi but this was however not deemed sufficient enough for him to feature against the Saints.
Speaking after the 3-0 away win over Southampton, Sarri indicated that the midfielder may not be prepared yet to secure a regular role and he would prefer to see more of him in training, he said: “No, not at the moment. After 70 minutes in the last match, for the first time this season, I preferred for him to have training.”
Chelsea favourite Roberto di Matteo believes his former club should stick with Antonio Conte beyond the current campaign. The Blues have underperformed during Conte’s second season in charge of the club and there has been strong speculation that the Italian could be replaced in the summer.
Despite this, Di Matteo believes the 48-year-old should be offered another year at the helm with the opportunity to become their head coach for the long-term, he told Sky Sports: “It’s great, I think it’s good (if Conte is still in charge). I hope he can stay on as well, I hope he stays. I hope he’s going to be the long-term manager at the club.So I think it’s the way forward. But I don’t know really, this is just my opinion.” Continue reading