Until all the summer transfer windows slam shut — especially the one in Spain — one question will be a constant in Maurizio Sarri’s pre-match press conferences:
“Do you think Eden will stay at Chelsea?”
The answer from the new coach at this point is probably automatic, which explains the feeling of déjà vu week after week. And so, once again with emotion, at least for this season, Eden will be a Chelsea player.
“I think [Eden will stay]. Because I’m the coach of a very good team, a great club, and we cannot sell such an important player without the possibility of buying another player at the same level, so I hope Eden will stay for this season.”
Due to Belgium’s deep run in the World Cup, with Eden himself leading the national team to a third-place finish in the competition, the Chelsea star has yet to be fully fit to play for an entire match. But he is making good progress towards this target, as he may be able to start in our upcoming match against Newcastle.
“I don’t know, I think that Eden is ready for 50 or 60 minutes, I don’t know about 90 minutes, but he can start [this Sunday].”
And Sarri is quite happy with his skilful left winger, who has shown the will to be back on the pitch as quickly as possible.
“I am happy with him if he wants to play. I think it’s the right way to think for him but I have to think for everybody.”
New arrival Mateo Kovačić made an even deeper journey into the World Cup, with his national team Croatia facing France in the finals. Although the team did not take the trophy, nor did he take part in the final match, he is also another player who is few miles away from the fitness levels required to play an entire 90-minute game.
Nevertheless, both Mateo and Eden had a great 30-minute cameo in our last game against Arsenal. Their entrance to take charge of our left flank duties in midfield and inside forward positions gave Chelsea the edge they needed to break apart the Gunners and score the goal needed for us to take home the three points with a 3-2 scoreline. And just like Eden, he may also start our next match-up, although he may not stay on the pitch for its entirety.
“I thought Mateo and Eden played very well in the last 30 minutes, but also in that moment the intensity of the match was going down. Like Eden, Mateo is ready to play for 60 or 65 minutes.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Chelsea FC
Upon his introduction at Chelsea, there has been some back and forth with regards to the presence or absence of a buying option in Kovačić’s season-long loan deal from Real Madrid. The player helped adding fuel to the flame of a definitive stay being possible with a message on Instagram to Real Madrid that felt more like a “goodbye” than a “see you soon”.
And if there is one person that is rooting for him to stay at the Bridge for years to come, that person is Sarri himself.
“It’s too early to say [if he will stay here in definitive]. I like him and hopefully he could stay here.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Football.London
So say we all!