'Suited to me': Maurizio Sarri says he would love to coach four current Chelsea players

Maurizio Sarri admitted that Thomas Tuchel has a quartet of stars he would have enjoyed managing during his spell as Chelsea coach.

Speaking to Alfredo Pedulla, Sarri was asked to open up about his time at Stamford Bridge.

The 62-year-old took over from Antonio Conte in 2018 and successfully engineered a Europa League victory, plus a top-four finish.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

However, his stint in South West London was not all sweet.

His relationship with the fans was sometimes sour, attracting negative press for his style of football.

Although it often achieved results, it was the manner of performance that had supporters sweating.

Sarri was replaced by Frank Lampard after just one season, who was, in turn, exchanged for Thomas Tuchel in January.

Sarri’s sadness

Although the managers are constantly changing, there is one philosophy that usually stays in place: Marina Granovskaia and Roman Abramovich’s backing in the transfer market.

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Both Sarri and Lampard were allowed to spend big on several signings, which aided the latter’s eventual downfall.

However, the Italian had a tinge of envy when speaking about his successor’s new, young recruits.  

“In the following years they have taken many young people suitable for me,” said Sarri.

“I lived a particular year, in which Abramovich could not enter England and we had an owner who was not present in the area. 

“A rather difficult situation, all in the hands of Marina and she had a thousand problems to solve, the football aspect was in the hands of us of the staff, not having the economic power available. 

“Then came (Timo) Werner, (Kai) Havertz, (Mason) Mount, (Hakim) Ziyech: all suited to me and my way of playing.”

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Buying in bulk

Werner, Havertz, and Ziyech were part of Lampard’s lavish spree last summer.

All three came to a combined total of £149m, which isn’t including the £45m (BBC Sport) splashed out on Ben Chilwell.

Mount was the only player mentioned who came at no cost at all.

Sarri could well have called upon the midfielder, had he not been sent on loan to Lampard’s Derby County.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

His acquisitions included Jorginho, Kepa Arrizbalaga, Gonzalo Higuain, Mateo Kovacic, and Rob Green.

Now it’s the turn of Tuchel to try his hand in the transfer turnstiles, with plenty of high-profile targets on the radar.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.