Although nothing is yet official, Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri remains on the verge of being announced as the new manager of Italian giants Juventus.
Sarri himself has revealed how much he missed his homeland in his first and likely only season in west London, and his homesickness could well be one of the biggest reasons for the move.
It certainly isn’t down to the quality of the campaign itself with his Pensioners making the Premier League top four and reaching two cup finals.
They would lose out in the Carabao Cup final two to Manchester City but beat Arsenal to lift the Europa League in Baku and finish in style, a game that appears to be going down as the Italian’s farewell.
Understandably, many members of the Stamford Bridge faithful desperately want Sarri to stay after the excellent campaign, but despite this Chelsea are set to make one of their best controversial decisions in years by letting him go.
— Baku 2018/19 ? (@hazard_dripCFC) June 12, 2019
And you still let Sarri go..???
— Saus Kacang (@Dedykusumayuda) June 12, 2019
Good. Now, keep Sarri.
— Olawale Adigun (@Olawarrley) June 12, 2019
Don’t let Sarri leave pic.twitter.com/aPsIy1SFju
— Sarri?? (@Asiedukojofrank) June 12, 2019
Will be disappointed if Sarri goes. Chelsea are back where they belong in the CL & he also won his first trophy. The perfect replacement is already there, in Gianfranco Zola, he knows the young & experienced players well, also gained so much experience over the last few years.
— Dennis Wise (@denniswise) June 10, 2019
You only need to look at some of the results in different competitions to realise that things weren’t always rosy for the club under Sarri during the campaign.
In the Premier League they were humiliated 4-0 away from home by AFC Bournemouth and on the end of a staggering 6-0 scoreline at Manchester City, as well as being comfortably beaten by London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur for example. In other seasons, these losses would have proved costly for their top-four chances.
Plus, in the FA Cup they were knocked out by a Manchester United team that was soon to look like they couldn’t defeat anyone, and suffered a degrading draw away at MOL Vidi in the Europa League.
The worst and most high-profile came at Wembley during the League Cup final when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga point-blank refused to leave the field and be substituted while a non-authoritative Sarri was only able to powerlessly watch on.
But perhaps most important of all is the man himself and his happiness – if he’s missing home then he’s not going to be happy and that’s not going to breathe confidence into the players.
The Blues need someone who’s settled in this country and is going to take proper charge of everything at Stamford Bridge in what is going to be arguably their trickiest season in a long time.