10th October, 2018
If anyone thinks the fact that Chelsea are neck-and-neck with defending Premier League champions Manchester City and Liverpool in the title race is a comfortable situation for Maurizio Sarri, the person will need to think again as the manager is reportedly planning to strengthen his squad further in the transfer window.
Chelsea was expected to have a tough time starting the new season considering all the issues that cropped up around the former manager and some of the team’s star players but then with the coming of Sarri, things have been to a large extent stabilized at the club to the extent that they are already considered one of the title favourites with the way they have been playing so far.
With the impact of a solid Eden Hazard’s excellent start to the season helping to a large extent – with seven goals in eight top-flight matches – Chelsea are level on 20 points with City and Liverpool with all three sides unbeaten.
That however is not enough for the new manager as he is already looking into the near future for his team. He reportedly, is planning to tell Chelsea hierarchy that they are at least one defender short of being able to overcome their title rivals this season.
It is a fact that AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli is a long-term target for the manager while Chelsea have also been linked to Juventus duo Daniele Rugani and Mattia Caldara as well as Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly in the summer.
All of that is so despite the fact that Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz have been Sarri’s first-choice centre-back partnership this season, starting every league game together.
The team’s captain Gary Cahill has made just one league appearance, and that was only made possible by a Rudiger injury late on in a goalless draw at West Ham.
Cahill is understandably not happy with the situation and has come out to hint at a possible January departure, insisting: “I’m not a guy who is willing to accept not playing.”
In the same boat is Andreas Christensen, whose minutes have been limited to cup competitions having made 27 league appearances under Conte last season.
He recently told a Danish publication BT:
“I can’t stand having to have so much patience again. I’m 22 years old now and I really want to play. “
“In the last three seasons I’ve played regularly for the teams I’ve been at, so of course I don’t see myself staying if my current situation remains the same in the future.”
On a precautionary note meanwhile, Rudiger has pulled out of international duty in hope of returning to full fitness ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Manchester United after the international break.
“I won’t be available for the German national team for the upcoming two matches due to a groin problem,” Rudiger said on Twitter.
“I will do some individual training sessions during the international break and I am confident to be back soon. Best of luck to my German teammates for the next two games.”