Conference Call: Full of potential

Maurizio Sarri said he is happy to finally have a full squad to work with following tonight’s goalless draw against Lyon at Stamford Bridge, a match which was followed by the Blues prevailing 5-4 on penalties.

Gary Cahill, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard, Olivier Giroud and Michy Batshuayi returned to training yesterday, and all apart from the Belgian striker played some part against Lyon this evening.

Sarri spoke about the importance of those players featuring, even if only for a short while.

‘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,’ said the Italian.

‘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.’

Sarri said there are no problems at all regarding Hazard

‘I don’t see this problem in this moment. I’ve spoken with Eden two or three times in the last two days. We’ve spoken about everything. This Hazard problem is not present.’

Ruben Loftus-Cheek made his first start of pre-season, and Sarri provided his thoughts on the midfielder

‘He is potentially a great player. He has to improve from the tactical point of view but that’s not a problem. He’s very young and I think he can be a very useful player for us.’

The Blues boss was asked if a decision had been made on who will wear the captain’s armband this season.

‘We have to discuss it. I want to speak with all the players, all my staff and my club. At the end I will decide. Today is my first day with all the players and I have to decide when I know every player better.’

Sarri also responded to a question about the future of Thibaut Courtois, and a potential bid for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga

‘I think I’m here just to talk about the match and the first question was about Courtois. I don’t know at this moment, I want to speak with my club and then all together we will decide. If I don’t know anything about Courtois I don’t know anything about Kepa.

‘Tomorrow I will have a very busy day but I don’t know anything about the market. We have to work in the morning and I have meetings with the other coaches in the afternoon so I don’t have time for the market.’



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