Eden Hazard, Willian, David Luiz and co are the problem at Chelsea not Maurizio Sarri

Let’s get one thing straight: Maurizio Sarri is not the problem at Chelsea.

The problem lies with Eden Hazard, David Luiz, Willian, Pedro and Co — all those players who are nowhere near as good as they want you to believe.

Jose Mourinho knew that was the case during his second spell at Stamford Bridge and Antonio Conte soon worked it out as well.

Sarri arguably realised quicker than either of those two given the speed with which he began to question the group’s mentality and tell the world how difficult they were to motivate.

The 6-0 hammering by Manchester City on Sunday was an aberration and obviously it raised questions about the Italian’s future.

But as the club tries to work out the direction it now needs to go in, sacking Sarri should not be in its thinking.

If they were to get rid of him, they would deserve everything that came their way in the next few years.

What the Blues hierarchy should instead be saying is that Sarri has their backing and that they will help him build the squad he wants over the next couple of years.

They should then put an embargo on any youngster leaving the club and make sure their academy is the bedrock of everything the club does next.

If they have any sense they will be asking loan manager Eddie Newton to give them the names of the 10 most promising youngsters on their books, because along with Callum Hudson-Odoi they’d have almost half of a very good squad right there.

I’d blend them in with N’Golo Kante, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta, who all deserve to stay, as well as Gonzalo Higuain, assuming he wants to.

But beyond those five I can’t think of anyone else I’d want to keep, which is a damning indictment on the rest.

Chelsea aren’t going to win the Premier League or Champions League with the squad they have for the next five years but they could still qualify for Europe and be the best of the rest ahead of Everton and Wolves with their youngsters.

So why not start rebuilding in that way while giving Sarri two or three transfer windows to bring in some more established players.

It would put them in a much stronger position than the one they are in now.

The problem Chelsea have is that it’s no longer 2004 and they can’t just outspend everyone else.

So they have to start thinking differently and, to fund those thoughts, I’d be snapping the hand off any club who wanted to give me anything from £100million to £150m for Hazard.

When Chelsea turn up, the Belgian is world class but when they are rolled over he goes missing.

That isn’t the case with the really great players and neither do they finish 10th in the league, or get beaten 4-0 by Bournemouth.

I copped a lot of stick from hardcore Chelsea fans for saying Hazard was part of the problem but surely none of them who watched Sunday’s game would disagree with me now.

It’s time to start again at Chelsea, but that doesn’t mean another change of manager.

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