After winning the Europa League and reaching the final of the League Cup in his only season with Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri has returned to Italy as the manager of Juventus. The Blues will have a tough task to replace the Italian and here are five prospective candidates.
#5. Javi Gracia
Watford is a difficult place for a manager to survive and in the last ten years, eleven different managers have been in charge of the club. Among those managers, Javi Garcia has the best win percentage which is why he has survived longer than most of his recent predecessors.
Garcia led Watford to a Premier League best eleventh place finish in 2018/19 and his side also reached the final of the FA Cup. That’s quite an achievement with a squad of Watford’s quality.
The Spanish manager has shown his mettle in the Premier League and could prove to be an astute appointment for Chelsea.
#4. Nuno Espírito Santo
Nuno Espirito Santo was one of the candidates for the Premier League Manager of the Season after guiding Wolverhampton Wanderers to a seventh-place finish immediately after getting promoted.
Wolves proved to be a difficult side to beat under Santo and his side beat all the Top 6 clubs except for Manchester City over the course of the 18/19 season. They were also one of only two teams to hold the Premier League Champions to a draw.
Santo used a three-man backline at Wolves and he should be able to recreate that system at Chelsea with relative ease since the Blues won the Premier League title only two years ago with a similar system and many of the players from that squad are still at the club.
#3. Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho is the most successful manager in Chelsea history and he has already had two separate stints with the Blues. However, the former boss splits the opinion of the fans and his last stint in the Premier League with Manchester United didn’t end well.
Mourinho is without a job at the moment and only an offer from a top European club could tempt him. He is familiar with Chelsea but a return to the club won’t be easy as he left in an unpleasant manner.
If the Chelsea management can put their past with Mourinho to bed and back him in the best possible manner, then there aren’t many better candidates to replace Sarri at the moment.
#2. Massimiliano Allegri
Even before Juventus announced Maurizio Sarri as their new manager, they announced that Massimiliano Allegri will leave the club at the end of the 2018/19 season after winning eleven trophies in five years.
Allegri had a win percentage of 70.48 at Juventus and he was replaced only because he could not deliver them the coveted Champions League title. However, Allegri could still do a fantastic job at another top European club.
The Italian was linked with the Chelsea job when he was contracted with Juventus but now, he can consider the offer and take up a new challenge outside of Italy. However, Chelsea’s transfer ban could affect any approach for the 51-year-old manager.
#1. Frank Lampard
Many managers such as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Niko Kovac are now in charge of clubs they played for and these managers have enjoyed a varied level of success. Now, Frank Lampard has the opportunity to return to Chelsea as the club’s manager after spending 13 years of his playing career with them.
Lampard only started his managerial career last season with Derby County and in his debut season, he led them to the EFL Championship Playoff final which his side lost to Aston Villa. Despite not earning promotion to the Premier League, he did a wonderful job at Derby County and one of the highlights of his short managerial career was knocking Manchester United out of the League Cup at Old Trafford.
The 40-year-old is familiar with the demands of working for a club of Chelsea’s stature and his legacy as a player will help him get the backing of the fans with relative ease. However, the big question is if he’s ready for the Chelsea job?