Monday, March 20, 2023

Napoli Forward Hints Reunion With Former Manager At Chelsea: Should The Pensioners Move In?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with the Times, Napoli forward Dries Mertens discussed the possibility of reuniting with his former manager Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea next summer. The Belgian attacker was a part of the Napoli team who were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Liverpool following their narrow 1-0 defeat at Anfield on Tuesday night.

However, before the match, Mertens shed some light on his future and told the Times,  ‘I love it here,’

‘But maybe in one year, I’m free, so maybe you never know, maybe Sarri is going to call me. We will see.’

The Belgian prospect also had some kind words for his former Napoli manager and went on to add, ‘Sarri does not have an off button,’

‘I think he sleeps one hour a night and he is always thinking about football.

‘Maybe because he had less time because he arrived late in the game and he is playing catch-up? I learnt a lot from him.

‘The thing I loved most about him is that you feel you are playing with 12 not 11. He puts the line very high so the strikers feel the midfielders are close.

‘I’m sure now Sarri is learning things about London. He knows so many facts, he’s crazy but interesting.’

Mertens’ recent words reveal his admiration for the Chelsea boss, so if Sarri does end up making a move for him next summer, then it won’t be too difficult to convince the Belgian international to make a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Mertens boasts electrifying pace and is an excellent dribbler with the ball at his feet. The Belgian talent is a proven goal-scorer and can link up well with his teammates in and around the opposition penalty area. However, he is not that good in the air which is one of the main reasons why he struggled to retain possession while up against two physically imposing defenders in Joel Matip and Virgil Van Dijk during Napoli’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool last night.

The potential addition of Mertens will undoubtedly bolster Sarri’s attacking options at Stamford Bridge. Since making a switch to Naples, the Belgian sensation has established himself as a regular goal-getter in the Serie A. The 31-year-old has scored ten goals and grabbed four assists in 20 matches for Carlo Ancelotti’s side this season which indicates how big of a goal-threat he can be.

The Pensioners forwards have struggled to be productive in front of goal this term. The likes of Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata have often flattered to deceive during this campaign and have not been able to find the back of the net regularly under Sarri. Hence, a prolific goal-scorer like Mertens could be a fantastic acquisition for the West London outfit as they look to compete for major trophies in the coming years.

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