Five things you should know about Maurizio Sarri
With Chelsea expected to axe Antonio Conte and bring in Maurizio Sarri, we take a closer look at the former Napoli coach.
Antonio Conte’s departure from Chelsea is expected to be confirmed imminently, and the Stamford Bridge faithful are readying themselves for an eighth different manager in seven years.
That man looks likely to be Maurizio Sarri, who left Serie A runners up Napoli at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
But who is Sarri and what can Chelsea fans expect from him?
Here’s five things you should know about the 59-year-old Italian.
Sarri started his managerial career with Pescara in 2005 before undertaking quick-fire spells at Arezzo, Avellino, Hellas Verona and Perugia.
After further short stints at Alessandria and Sorrento, he seemingly settled down at Empoli for three years before upping sticks again and taking on the Napoli job in 2015.
His three years at Napoli saw him develop one of the most thrilling sides in Europe.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, after playing against Napoli in last season’s Champions League, said: “We faced one of the best sides I faced in my career – probably the best.”
CLOSE TO SCUDETTO GLORY
Juventus’ recent dominance of the Italian top flight was almost ended by Sarri’s swashbuckling Napoli side last season.
They ultimately fell short, though, finishing four points behind the Old Lady, who wrapped up a seventh consecutive Scudetto.
IMPROVES HIS PLAYERS
Under Sarri’s tutelage, Dries Mertens has been transformed into one of the continent’s most potent attacking threats, the Belgian scoring a whopping 56 goals in the last two seasons for the free-flowing Partenopei.
Piotr Zielinski, Jorginho and Lorenzo Insigne have also flourished with Sarri at the helm.
RELISHES A SCRAP
Expect fireworks when he comes face-to-face with Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp on the touchline.
Just ask Roberto Mancini, who said this of Sarri after a heated exchange in 2016: “People like him should not be in football.”