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Maurizio Sarri needs 'a couple of months' to impose his style at Chelsea

Published on: Aug 11 at 12:00am

Paolo Bandini joins the FC crew to weigh in on Chelsea's potential midfield options and how the addition of Jorginho could help the Blues. Chelsea manager expects Eden Hazard to stay at the club, and reveals his thoughts on new signings Arrizabalaga and Kovacic.

Maurizio Sarri warned that it may take "a couple of months" to implement his style of football at Chelsea, adding that he is expecting his team to encounter problems in the first half of the season.

Chelsea begin the new Premier League campaign away to Huddersfield Town on Saturday, less than a month after Sarri was officially appointed on a three-year contract to succeed the sacked Antonio Conte.

Sarri has only been able to work with the full Chelsea first-team squad this week, as key players Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante were among those granted three weeks off to recover from their World Cup exertions.

Two of Chelsea's summer signings -- club-record purchase Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid loanee Mateo Kovacic -- only arrived at Cobham on Wednesday, and Sarri admitted that he will need more time to get his new players up to speed with his ideas.

"For sure in this moment, we are not at the top of our potential," he said. "We did a preseason... what can I say... unusual, maybe. So now we are not at the top. I hope to be at the top of the potential of the squad in one or two months, but I don't know.

"I hope that the second part of the season, for us, will be very good with a lot of points. I expect in the first part of the season some problems."

Asked what problems he expects to face, Sarri replied: "On the results. Maybe the performances in the first part of the season will not be in line with the potential of the squad. Maybe, in the first part.

"I think you have to wait the characteristics of the players, and not vice versa."

Sarri had been in his new job just four days when Chelsea travelled to Western Australia for a friendly against Perth Glory, before honouring their International Champions Cup commitments with matches against Inter, Arsenal and Lyon as well as facing Manchester City in the Community Shield in a heavily compressed preseason.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Chelsea will liaise heavily with Sarri before finalising their plans for next summer. Asked how much he would change preseason, Sarri said: "Completely, I think. If I can... completely. I don't know. I arrived in the middle of July, so the problem was there. I have to accept it completely, but I think, for the future, it will be better to change it.

"But I think that my perfect programme of preseason is not completely in line with the programme of the club. So we have to arrive at a compromise."


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