Sarri in shock admission he told Chelsea midfielder he wasn’t needed

Oli Fisher

Maurizio Sarri has revealed he told Danny Drinkwater before the season started that he was surplus to requirements at Chelsea.

Former Leicester midfielder Drinkwater has not featured at all under head coach Sarri this season, and was arrested on suspicion of drink driving in Cheshire on April 9.

Sarri told Drinkwater he could not fit into his tactical system and suggested he find a new club, but the player opted to stay at Stamford Bridge.



“He knows very well he has never played because in my opinion he is not suitable to my system, to my way of playing,” said Sarri.

“I told him everything in August. He appreciated it, but he decided to remain, and so he knew very well the situation.

“I spoke with him in August, when the market was still open. I said to him he should look for something different.

“In my opinion, he doesn’t play. And I said to him the reasons, my reasons. But, as I said before, he decided to stay at Chelsea.”

Asked if Drinkwater is unable to adapt to his “Sarriball” possession style, the Chelsea boss said: “No, I don’t think so. It’s my opinion. Maybe I am wrong, but it’s my opinion.

“I try (to be honest). Of course, sometimes you have to say something different. But in 99 per cent of cases, I try to be honest.”

Asked why Drinkwater has stayed, Sarri replied: “I don’t know; probably he hoped we could change the system, I think.

“I have a very good relationship with him because, in my opinion, he’s a good boy. He’s a good player. He’s a good player.

“And he’s able to play in a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 very well.

“But he’s not suitable for me. He knows this, but I have a good relationship with him.

“I cannot do anything. A player usually wants only to play, nothing else. So I cannot do anything.

“I can only have with him a very good relationship, no more. At the moment, I am not able to satisfy him as a player. So it’s very difficult, but he knew.”


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