Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri have little reason to continue through a ban

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Chelsea Unveil New Head Coach Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge on July 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: Chelsea Unveil New Head Coach Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge on July 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri is safer than he was a few weeks ago. But with a potential ban this summer, the relationship has little reason to continue.

Jake Cohen can explain all the legal minutia involved in Chelsea’s transfer ban and their rejected appeal to delay it until after this summer window. As things stand, Chelsea cannot register new players this summer unless FIFA finishes a review in record time.

Essentially what that means is the current squad minus Mateo Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain when their loans expire and plus the loan army is the squad for next season. Chelsea will have to lean on Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham as strikers. No technical director will come (not that they would be needed anyways).

But perhaps most importantly is what happens with Maurizio Sarri. Sarrismo has still failed to launch at Chelsea and there is a sense that it cannot with the current group of players. The Blues, meanwhile, will need someone willing to blood the youth because they will have no other chance to reinforce. And those two factors combine make it look as though Chelsea and Sarri have little reason to continue their relationship through an immediate ban.

Sarri came into Chelsea willing to stick by his principles to the end. He would not adapt his way to the squad but would instead try to adapt the squad to his way. It has been a start stop process with runs of good and bad form that have ranged from inspiring to uninspiring.

But to truly lift Sarrismo off the ground, Sarri will need reinforcements. The fullbacks that are good enough do not really suit his style. The fullbacks that suit his style are not really good enough. The team desperately needs a midfielder who can contribute goals (though Ruben-Loftus-Cheek could easily become that if he recovers well enough). And Chelsea still needs a striker that can be trusted to play up top.

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If Chelsea could buy this summer, Sarri would likely be asking for three to five starting XI caliber players. Instead, he is looking at losing his striker Gonzalo Higuain (who has yet to get going anyways) and his only reinforcements will be loan army players that could do a job but will need to be trained up to it.

As such, no matter how Chelsea finishes under Sarri this season, the squad as a whole is likely to get weaker next season before it gets stronger. Sarri will know how hot his seat will be in year two after the players have supposedly learned his way. He will know that his chances of improving the team next year with a weakened squad will be low. As such, there is little for Sarri to gain and a lot to lose if he sticks through a ban.

Chelsea, meanwhile, needs a manager who will use the youth because that is all they will have. If the ban stays in place for the summer, the likes of Mason Mount, Reece James, Tammy Abraham, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ethan Ampadu and more will need to be relied on heavily. Sarri has shown little to no willingness to trust youth over experience and that will be of a concern to the club.

Chelsea is likely telling the youth that if the ban stays in place, they will finally get their chance to shine. But if they have a manager unwilling to trust anyone beyond his 14 older players, it will be a hard hit for the Blues. Therefore, it would make more sense to have a manager that will play the youth and trust them through rough patches because there will be little other choice.

Sarri needs a better team and he will not be able to get one if the ban stays. Chelsea needs a manager willing to trust the youth and they do not have a manager who does that. Logically, it would make the most sense for both parties to go their separate ways this summer if Chelsea is under a transfer ban.

Sarri can leave with his reputation (mostly) intact and go somewhere that Sarrismo will be more fertile. Chelsea can get a manager who will have lower expectations and who will be willing to blood the youth and sort through the loan army. The best case for both parties is to go their separate ways if the ban stays.

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Of course, it is not a done situation yet. FIFA could get things done in time to delay the ban, which would then give Sarri the window and resources needed to rebuild the squad in his image before the ban goes in place. But both sides should be considering all their options at the moment. That includes a handshake and an amicable separation in the event of a ban this summer.