After Chelsea breezed past PAOK at Stamford Bridge, we examine the three things we learned.
1. Sarri needs to change his full backs.
Neither Davide Zappacosta or Emerson are the long term answers to the right and left back positions respectively.
However, as things stand, they are both superior to Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.
To be clear, Azpilicueta and Alonso are not bad players, they just are not suited to Maurizio Sarri’s style of play.
Neither man is quick and can get to the byline to cross or create space for their winger in front by overlapping.
Zappacosta and Emerson both have these abilities which make the team so much more threatening going forward.
They may be found wanting at the highest level defensively but most of the time Chelsea are trying to break teams down. Both understudies need to be given chances in the league.
2. Callum Hudson-Odoi is ready
The 18 year old showed that he is ready to start regularly in the league side. He still needs work in certain aspects but, frankly, he played better than Willian has in weeks.
Hudson-Odoi looked as if he was playing with a point to prove, which was; play me or I’ll have to leave.
He is out shining a senior player in Willian and therefore deserves to play. It is that simple. No salary, reputation or transfer value should dictate who plays, only form. On form, the Englishman deserves to play.
3. So is Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Speaking of deserving to play, Loftus-Cheek simply has to play in the league side now. When do we see any of Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante or Ross Barkley do what Loftus-Cheek can?
None of them dribble past three or four men into the area and get a shot off. None of them accelerate away from pressure like he does or chip balls over the top and arrive in goal-scoring positions. Loftus-Cheek can.
He is a special player and Chelsea need a player with unique attacking abilities to add a different dimension to the midfield three. All three players mentioned above are perfectly fine but they don’t have half of the attacking threat that Loftus-Cheek has.