Maurizio Sarri takes the reins at Chelsea with Zola appointed as assistant

Maurizio Sarri

Chelsea have appointed former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri as their new club manager, following the departure of Antonio Conte from Stamford Bridge earlier this week. Sarri has signed a three year deal and will be assisted by Chelsea’s Italian legend Gianfranco Zola at the Bridge.

Sarri’s appointment brings an end to months of speculation and negotiation between Sarri, Chelsea and Napoli. Sarri was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti in Napoli shortly after the end of the season, and it was a bit surprising that Chelsea waited so long to finalise his appointment with just about a month left to the start of the season.

Sarri in his statement said “I look forward to starting work and meeting the players on Monday ahead of travelling to Australia, where I will be able to get to know the squad and begin our match action,” he told the club’s official website. I hope we can provide some entertaining football for our fans, and that we will be competing for trophies at the end of the season, which is what this club deserves”

Sarri’s Napoli side played one of the best brands of attacking football in Europe for the past two seasons and he will look to replicate and do even more in Chelsea. This is no doubt the biggest job in his career so far after rising from the lower Leagues in Italian football and only got his first job as a professional coach in 2005 with Pescara.

The challenges he will face in Chelsea and the Premier League will be much different from what he faced in Italy, and he has only a short while to settle down, especially with the history of Chelsea and managers. Also, Sarri has had some misdemeanours with the Italian FA and will have to be on his best behaviour to succeed in a league like the Premier League that loves to stir-up controversies.

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