Maurizio Sarri press conference: Every word from Chelsea boss on Hazard, Morata & Arsenal

Injury news?

“Fabregas is out for this match. I hope he will be able to be on the pitch next week. I’m not sure. Nothing serious, but he has a very unusual injury. Nothing serious. I hope in the next week we will be able to have him training.”

What is the unusual injury?

“Nothing serious, but he has a pain, not in the knee… near the knee. But not in the knee.”

Was Kevin De Bruyne’s injury a sign not to rush Hazard back?

“I don’t know. I haven’t seen the injury of De Bruyne. I don’t know. But, at this level, players play a lot of games in the season, so I think for them it’s very dangerous.”

Are you still worried about Hazard leaving for Spain?

“No, no. I have spoken to him very often in the last 10 days, but he has never said to me anything about this. So I am sure that Eden will be with us for this season.”

N’Golo Kante

“Kante, for physical characteristics, is very quick to be ready to play. He played very well in the last match. He is ready. But, for the other players from the World Cup, I think it’s a little bit different.”

Arsenal had a tough game against Manchester City

“For everybody, it’s difficult against Manchester City, I think…”

What do you make of Arsenal?

“I think that Emery is a very good coach. He won three times the Europa League. He won in France with PSG. And I think Arsenal, this season, will be competitive. I think that they will be able to fight for a place in the Champions League.”

Alvaro Morata’s form

“But I am not worried about Morata. Morata is a very great player. I think that, in this moment, he needs only to gain confidence. But he is a great player.”

Is he low on confidence?

“Maybe, maybe. He needs to score. As all the strikers in the world do, I think. He needs to gain confidence, but he’s improving so I’m not really worried about him.”

Have you enjoyed your first month in charge of Chelsea manager?

“It has been very difficult. This season, it has been very difficult for every club, and especially the most important clubs, with the World Cup and the friendly matches… one in Australia, one in Dublin, one in France. It has been difficult. But we started to work all together only 10 days ago, so we have to work. We have to improve. But, in my opinion, in two months we can be a very good team.”

What would be a successful season for Chelsea?

“But I think that, at this moment, in English football there is one club above the others. This club is Manchester City. We have to try to do our best. We have to try to reach 101% of our potential. Then we have to see. I don’t know, now, what can happen. But my feeling is that we can be a very good team.”

Are City that far ahead of everyone then at the moment?

“In this moment, I think so. We have to work to reduce the gap.”

Mateo Kovacic, is he ready?

“I think Mateo will be very useful for us. He’s a very technical player. In this moment, he has to work. I think he’s not ready now for 90 minutes, but maybe, tomorrow, for the first 30 or the last 30 minutes he could be used. I expect a lot from him because, for me, he’s a very great player. In my opinion, he can improve more.”

Where might he play in your team?

“I think he can play in any of the three positions in midfield. He’s a very good offensive player, but he has improved in the defensive phase in the last two years in Madrid.”

First Premier League game at Stamford Bridge

“I’m looking forward to my first [competitive] game at Stamford Bridge, because I will be the coach of one of the most important clubs in Europe, in one of the most important stadiums in Europe, for my first London derby. I’m looking forward to it.

The Genoa tragedy

“I’m going to reply in Italian on Genoa. A monstrous disaster. Sympathy for the people of Genoa. It’s a terrible disaster, and the consequences of what happened will go on for a long time.”

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