Sarri wants 'complete overhaul' of tactically inept Chelsea squad this summer – and this is how he could line up

The Italian has been frustrated by the current players being unable to adapt to his way of playing.

According to The Times, he now wants the board to either back him or sack him and believes he is unable to improve the current playing staff.

Blues fans have turned on the former Napoli manager after he took charge of Chelsea's worst two defeats in the last 27 years.

His tenure reached a new low on Sunday when his famed 'Sarri-ball' tactic was ripped apart in a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City.

Sarri has now decided his players will never be able to get his methods.

Chelsea have given Sarri a longer leash than other managers have had in the past, with his appointment driven by director Marina Granovskaia.

She remains a key supporter of his in the boardroom and has some sympathy because of his late arrival to the pre-season after the dispute with Napoli.

However, Sarri's future will ultimately be decided by results, with Roman Abramovich likely to step in if the club fall away in the race for the Champions League.

His handling of Callum Hudson-Odoi has also been questioned by the board and fans.

Chelsea players who could leave this summer


  • Willy Caballero
  • Rob Green
  • Eduardo


  • Marcos Alonso
  • Davide Zappacosta
  • Gary Cahill
  • Andreas Christensen
  • David Luiz
  • Emerson
  • Baba Rahman
  • Matt Miazga
  • Kurt Zouma


  • Danny Drinkwater
  • Lewis Baker
  • Tiemoue Bakayoko
  • Kenedy


  • Olivier Giroud
  • Pedro
  • Willian
  • Callum Hudson-Odoi
  • Michy Batshuayi
  • Tammy Abraham

The talented young winger, desperately wanted by Bayern Munich, travelled to Manchester on Sunday despite being ill and not being named in the squad.

There is believed to be no personal friction between Sarri and the playing staff – but a number of the squad feel he over-complicates things and gives them too much information.

Sarri will want to clear a large amount of deadwood, while the likes of Eden Hazard, Pedro, Willian and David Luiz could move on.

Here's how Sarri could line up next season.

GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga

Despite a shocking performance in Manchester and a mixed start to his Chelsea career, there is no doubt the 24-year-old will remain as No 1 into next season and beyond.

Clubs don't spend £71million on a player without giving them time.

RB: Cesar Azpilicueta

Has not been his usual steady self under Sarri – but continues to be the ultimate professional and one of the players the Italian trusts.

The 60-year-old singled out the skipper as one of the few leaders in the dressing room last month.

CB: Antonio Rudiger

The German has been Chelsea's most consistent defender this season and one of the few players to make a significant improvement under the Italian.

Still only 25, the athletic centre-back should only get better as he enters his prime and finds a more consistent partner than David Luiz.


CB: Kalidou Koulibaly

Despite his erratic performances as a defender, David Luiz has continued to play under Sarri because of his ability on the ball.

The Brazilian spreads the play and plays forward passes that few defenders in world football are capable.

But defensively, he remains a liability – capable of brilliance and brain-dead errors that cost goals within the space of minutes.

Luiz, 31, is out of contract in the summer and likely to leave because he does not want to sign the one-year deal that Chelsea offer players over 30.

Andreas Christensen, 22, would be a natural replacement – a stout defender who is very capable in possession – but Sarri appears to have decided the Dane is not for him.

That will leave Sarri chasing another centre-back and he knows Kalidou Koulibaly intimately.

The Blues will face stiff competition for the strapping Senegalese, who stands at an imposing 6ft 5in – he is also wanted by Manchester United.

While he may not be the neatest fit next to Rudiger for Sarri-ball, Koulibaly is one of the best defenders in world football and would instantly improve a shaky Blues back line.

LB: Alex Sandro

It may be a bit optimistic for Chelsea to go back in for the Juventus star after he signed a new five-year contract in December, but the Blues are desperate.

No player has seen his stock fall further since the departure of Antonio Conte than Marcos Alonso.

In Conte's 3-4-3 formation, Alonso became one of the most important pieces of the Chelsea team, a player capable of adding vital goals and assists and forming a back five to keep attackers out.

But in Sarri's 4-3-3 he has been exposed.

Not all of that is his fault – Alonso gets little protection from midfield and absolutely none from Eden Hazard.

But he has been defensively poor all season, a shocking decision for the opening goal against Man City just the latest error of a terrible season.

Alonso is simply not athletic enough to play in this system – he is too late arriving as an attacker to be a threat and too slow getting back defensively.

Under Conte, one of the centre-backs could slide over to help Alonso but he no longer has that help.

Sandro is a better crosser and dribbler and a much more athletic player.

Should he not be available, the Chelsea board could look to Porto's Alex Telles, or another former Napoli man, Faouzi Ghoulam.

CDM: Jorginho

At this point we're not clear what it would take for Sarri to move his favourite out of this position.

Bet your life-savings on Jorginho staying in this role should Sarri continue at Stamford Bridge.

RCM: N'Golo Kante

We all know the argument – Kante is wasted in this role, so let's not spill more ink on a tired and obvious debate.

It's testament to the brilliant, brilliant Frenchman that he has adapted so well playing 20 yards further forward.

(Chelsea would be so much better if he was played in his proper position).

LCM: Mateo Kovacic

This isn't a signing Maurizio Sarri will want to make – more one that could be forced on him.

The Croatian has impressed in spells for the Blues but has not dominated the way some expected when he arrived from Real Madrid.

A large section of Chelsea fans would be happy if he didn't come back in the summer.

But his permanent signing may be one more of circumstance than desire – Kovacic could be used as a bargaining chip should Eden Hazard move to the Bernabeu.

Fans want Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the one midfielder in the Chelsea squad capable of driving the ball forward, to fill this position but Sarri isn't convinced.

Kovacic – and/or Ross Barkley – has proved to be more in line with Sarri's possession-obsessed brand of football.

RW: Christian Pulisic

Both Pedro and Willian look set to end their tenures at Stamford Bridge.

Brazilian Willian has split the Chelsea fanbase down the middle with his frustrating, lazy performances that can be tinged with moments of brilliance.

Pedro will always be a hard worker but now that he has lost his burst of pace he is not the threat he once was.

Both players are on the wrong side of 30 and neither is loved by Sarri.

The Italian already has his replacement, Christian Pulisic, but does he really want him?

Sarri admitted he had no idea Chelsea were signing the £60million 20-year-old when it happened in January.

The deal looks more like a marketing ploy than a serious deal – Pulisic, America's most famous footballer, has started just five matches all season with Jadon Sancho beating him to a starting place.

Chelsea fans wish one of the wing spots will be filled by Callum Hudson-Odoi, but that prospect gets slimmer by the day.

ST: Gonzalo Higuain

The only player to come out of the Manchester City game with any credit, Higuain looked sharp and alert as he ploughed a lonely furrow at the Etihad.

It has been a bright start by the Argentine in SW6 and Sarri will hope more time with team-mates and acclimatising to life in England will see his goals tally grow.

LW: Lorenzo Insigne

It's hard to see Eden Hazard staying at Stamford Bridge beyond the summer, even if the Blues finish in the top four.

Hazard can be lazy, individualistic and inconsistent – but he is too good for this current Chelsea team.

Hazard would have been a complimentary piece in the days when Chelsea were truly part of Europe's elite, when the likes of Frank Lampard, Didier Drobga, John Terry et al were part of the team.

But these days he is a one-man band, option A, B and C for his team-mates.

Hazard is consistently double and triple marked and opponents know if they stop him they have a very, very good chance of stopping Chelsea.

On his best day, the Belgian is one of the top 10 players in the world, easily – he will flourish at Real Madrid.

Chelsea would command at the very least £100million for him and a big wedge of that money needs to be spent on finding an immediate replacement.

A number of names have been thrown around but Chelsea need immediate production.

Leon Bailey, 21, and Hirving Lozano, 23, could become huge stars in the future, but in Insigne, Sarri gets a player he knows inside out and one who is in his prime.

The Italian, 27, is tiny (5ft 4in) and would be targeted physically by Premier League opponents, but his production has not suffered in Serie A.

He has scored in double figures in each of the last four seasons and also averages around 10 assists.

Insigne is not the level of Hazard but would make a decent replacement that Sarri trusts.

Gareth Bale would be an expensive risk because of his injury record, while Wilfried Zaha continues to frustrate with his inconsistency.

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