Thursday 19 September 2019

'For him, the problem is only my football' - Chelsea boss Sarri gives blunt assessment of Danny Drinkwater

Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater has struggled to secure a first-team place (Nick Potts/PA)
Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater has struggled to secure a first-team place (Nick Potts/PA)

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is contemplating deploying Eden Hazard as a 'false nine' for a third straight Premier League game to set him "free".

The Blues play Leicester on Saturday, after beating holders Manchester City and Brighton without fielding a recognised striker.

Olivier Giroud played the full game as Chelsea beat Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, when Hazard came off the bench to score the decisive goal, while Alvaro Morata returned to training on Thursday following a knee injury.

"There isn't the best position for Hazard," Sarri said.

"Hazard is a wonderful player, with a very high level of imagination. He needs to be let free on the pitch.

"I think there isn't the right position for him. We need to have a very high level of organisation based on his movements."

Sarri's assistant boss Gianfranco Zola on Tuesday admitted Chelsea were admirers of striker Callum Wilson, but Sarri says he is keen not to upset Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.

"I don't know about Wilson, because, as you know Eddie is a friend and I want to see him very happy," Sarri added.

Defender Andreas Christensen is out with a minor hamstring injury which could see him absent until January, Sarri said.

Danny Drinkwater joined Chelsea from Leicester after the Foxes' 2015-16 Premier League title win.

The midfielder has featured for just 30 minutes under Sarri, in August's Community Shield loss to Manchester City, and his future appears bleak.

"He's suitable for a midfield with two midfielders. With three he is not really a central midfielder, he's not suitable to play centre right or centre left. For him, the problem is only my football."

Asked if Drinkwater has a future at Chelsea, Sarri said: "I don't know. It depends on the club. It's up to him, I think."

PA Media

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