- Maurizio Sarri believes it could take his Chelsea side 3 months to show their true potential
- Blues pre-season suffered hiccups due to the absence to players who played at the Mundial
- Belgium star Batshuayi did not feature in any of Chelsea pre-season matches
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has revealed that it could take his side up to 90 days to reach top form with his tactical inputs and playing style.
The Blues' pre-season preparations suffered hiccups by the late return of extended vacation to squad members like Gary Cahill, Eden Hazard, Michy Batshuayi, N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud who played at the summer World Cup in Russia.
Belgium’s Batshuayi was the latest returnee who did not feature in their 0-0 draw with Lyon in the International Champions Cup on Tuesday and Sarri says it is better late than never with Chelsea’s Premier League campaign kicking off at Huddersfield on Saturday.
"I'm very happy I can work with all my players for the first time [on Wednesday]," Sarri was quoted as saying after Chelsea's 5-4 penalty shootout win.
"Potentially we can become, in two or three months, a very good team.
"They arrived yesterday or the day before so it was only because I think it’s better to play 25 minutes than to have a session alone with a physical coach.
"They have to work, obviously. I’m very happy and at last I can work with all my players for the first time [together] tomorrow. We have only three days to prepare for the next match and it will be very important for us.
"I think we have to work, but we started to work [together] two days ago. Potentially, in two or three months, we can become a very good team."
Interestingly, Chelsea could hand England star Ruben Loftus-Cheek a spot in the first team after his loan spell at Crystal Palace, and Sarri sees a lot of potential in Blues youngster.
"He is potentially a great player. He has to improve from the tactical point of view but that’s not a problem," he added. "He’s very young and I think he can be a very useful player for us."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously had reported that Chelsea have sealed a world-record deal of £72million for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
According to a UK Daily Mail report, the 23-year-old Spaniard penned a seven-year deal at the Blues and will replace Belgium goalie, Thibaut Courtois as the club's No 1.
Interestingly, the £72m Chelsea coughed out for Kepa, overtakes the £66.8m paid by Liverpool for Roma’s Alisson last month.
The Brazilian was top choice on Chelsea's wish-list to replace Courtois, but preferred to work with Jurgen Klopp.
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