Updated: Sep 15, 2019
The Blues are risking making the same mistake as last year.
Chelsea announced Hazard’s transfer to Real Madrid on Friday.
Juve made contact with Sarri and Chelsea to work out a deal to bring the Italian back to Serie A.
Chelsea completed the first of two hugely important deals for this summer at the beginning of the weekend when they announced Eden Hazard’s transfer to Real Madrid. The Blues smartly got the deal done early and quickly.
However, Chelsea have stalled on another deal, manager Maurizio Sarri’s move to Juventus. Holding up his departure is an unnecessary repeat of last year’s outgoing manager debacle which could have much wider implications the Blues must avoid.
As preseason training for the 2018/19 campaign approached, Antonio Conte was still the manager of Chelsea. Despite every report in the world pointing to his firing, the board had not pulled the trigger. So, Conte returned for preseason training at Stamford Bridge.
But in his first week back, the hierarchy finally gave him his marching orders. Preseason was under way, tune up friendlies were fast approaching, and it was getting late in the summer to bring in new players. Chelsea was behind the eight ball. A horrible place to start the new year.
However, the London club did have their next manager already lined up, Maurizio Sarri, which was a positive. They didn’t have much time to get everything settled though.
Chelsea got off to a rip roaring start to the season not losing a game until late November, but it was a new manager bounce really. It just happened to take place starting from the first day of the season.
And as the season progressed, Sarri made it clear the lack of preseason time was hindering his ability to implement “Sarriball.” The players didn’t understand his system he said. They weren’t playing his way. They may have won games, but more by luck and sheer will rather than executing the new manager’s style of play.
In the end, it all worked out for the club in that Chelsea qualified for the Champions League by finishing third in the Premier League and by winning the Europa League.
Still though, the board dropped the ball waiting so long to sack Conte and therefore limiting Sarri’s preseason with the squad. It was a mistake that didn’t come back to bite them.
And now, the board is repeating that same mistake, just in a worse way.
Sarri and Chelsea have had a contentious and fractious relationship all year, especially Sarri and the fans. Even after securing third in the league and qualifying for the Champions League, the one and only goal the team had going into the year, Sarri’s job was still on the line going into the Europa League Final.
And because of this lack of trust from the club and lack of appreciation by the fans, Sarri decided he wanted to leave the club. He doesn’t want to continue working in west London and rightfully so. He shouldn’t stand for such disrespect and lack of recognition.
So, Juventus made contact with Sarri and Chelsea to work out a deal to bring the Italian back to Serie A.
Juventus want him. He wants to go to Turin. And Chelsea don’t want him. All parties are in favor of making the deal happen.
Yet, Chelsea have stalled on the deal. Why? Over a measly £5 million. Chelsea are keeping the deal from completion over a small £5 million buyout in Sarri’s contract. This is nonsensical and irresponsible.
Chelsea are risking making the same mistake as last year and hampering the club and new manager, whoever it may be, over a £5 million.
If Sarri’s buyout were £80 million, then I’d understand trying to hold out for a significant amount of money. But £5 million? That’s less than they pay the squad in a week. It’s so miniscule.
Besides, securing that £5 million doesn’t really help Chelsea in any significant way. That £5 million isn’t going to turn them into a better side than Manchester City or Liverpool. The £5 million is the last piece they need to win the Champions League next year.
But holding up the deal and giving the next manager a short preseason could end up much worse, for example the players not getting the new system down and then missing out on qualifying for the Champions League.
Honestly, Chelsea were lucky this past season the short preseason didn’t hurt them more. Tottenham, Arsenal, and Manchester United all struggled more down the stretch than Chelsea. It’s not as if the Blues played magnificently to earn their third place finish. It more came down to them struggling the least in the last month and a half of the season.
And now the board wants to repeat the same mistake from last year? It’s a terrible decision to make.
Plus, if Chelsea’s transfer ban is upheld, the new manager will need every second possible during preseason to assess the squad and all loaned out players to plan the squad for the year. They can’t strengthen before the year starts. They can’t fill holes in January.
Read More: Morata says Chelsea didn't appreciate him.
Chelsea need to put the new manager in the best possible situation to succeed. And it starts with settling with Juve and letting Sarri go as soon as possible. The club thankfully didn’t suffer any consequences last season, but they haven’t learned from their mistakes. Lightning won’t strike twice at Stamford Bridge.
The club rightly settled with Real Madrid over Eden Hazard’s transfer instead of drawing out the saga.
They need to do the same with Sarri’s move to Juventus for the good of the next manager and the team next season.