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Go for it Sarri – Chelsea must immediately offer a new contract to this £120,000-a-week superstar

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Why Chelsea should tie David Luiz down to a new contract

According to the Express, Chelsea are ready to offer David Luiz a new deal. The Brazilian centre-back’s current contract is set to expire next summer and the Blues are seemingly ready to abandon their rigid policy of offering contract extensions to players who are beyond 30. In fact, they are on the verge of tying the 31-year-old down to a new lucrative two-year contract which should see him earn £125,000-a-week (h/t The Sun).

The Brazilian returned to Stamford Bridge in 2016 from Paris Saint-Germain after he was sold by the Blues to the French outfit back in 2014. He played an important role in Chelsea’s road to Premier League glory in the 2016/17 season, where he made 33 appearances in the English top-flight. 

However, he was frozen out of the first-team by Antonio Conte last season and did not manage more than 17 appearances across all competitions, only 10 of which came in the Premier League.

However, the arrival of new manager Maurizio Sarri has seen the Brazilian return to favour and the 31-year-old has played every minute of Chelsea’s top-flight campaign so far.

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Chelsea have made an impressive start to their season and are yet to be beaten in the Premier League. The Blues’ winning streak of five games was ended by West Ham last weekend as the Hammers held Sarri’s men to a goalless draw.

Sarri is probably the most offensive-minded manager to have taken charge of Chelsea in recent times and his influence on the team is evident from the way they have performed in the attacking third. As a result, Chelsea have one of the best scoring records in the Premier League so far, having scored 14 goals from their first six games.

Undoubtedly, Sarri’s free-flowing football has brought the best out of Eden Hazard and Pedro in the final third. However, the Blues have looked susceptible at the back – even against average opponents.

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Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz had a tough start to the season and struggled to build a strong partnership in the heart of the defence. Although Rudiger has grown in confidence in the past few games, Luiz hasn’t shown much improvement with his positioning.

The Brazilian was caught out of position numerous times against Arsenal, Bournemouth and Newcastle United, where he allowed Joselu to get the better of him. To sum it up, Luiz has been poor this season and hasn’t managed to add any sense of stability to the backline.

Even though the Brazilian seems to be going through a lean patch currently, his calibre as a centre-back is beyond doubt. And the fact that Luiz’s style of play suits Sarri’s philosophy should prompt the club to tie the Brazilian down to a new contract.

A tall and burly centre-back packed with physicality, Luiz has the ability to outmuscle the opposition with his strength. He is a ball-playing defender who is comfortable with the ball at his feet and is unafraid to play the ball from the back. Not only does he have a good range of passing, which makes him adept at ball distribution, but he also has the vision to find his teammates up front with accurate long balls.

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Another impressive thing about him is his ability to find the net from direct set-piece situations. Furthermore, he is blessed with exceptional aerial ability and the Brazilian is rarely dominated by the opposition in the air.

Although he lacks positional sense and suffers from occasional lapses in concentration, Luiz’s assets outweigh his liabilities as a defender.

More than his qualities, Chelsea should keep hold of him since the club lack options at the back. With Gary Cahill set to reach the end of his Blues’ career soon, Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz will be the only quality centre-backs left in their ranks.

Read More:- Opinion – It is high time for Chelsea to start utilizing this £60,000-a-week midfield enforcer more regularly

Having said that, Chelsea should not delay in offering David Luiz a new contract as he is expected to play a key role for the club in the coming days.

Barcelona

Chelsea beating transfer ban to land this world-class La Liga star would be nothing but a disaster move by Sarri

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Chelsea opinion: Coutinho doesn’t suit Maurizio Sarri’s style of play

According to recent reports by the Daily Mail, Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho is being linked with a possible summer move to Premier League giants Chelsea as the Blues look to strengthen in the upcoming transfer window owing to the Eden Hazard transfer saga.

While the Belgian has been touted to join Real Madrid in the summer, whether or not Coutinho would fit in at Chelsea is a whole other question. 

With the Blues also having to deal with an impending transfer ban, things could turn quite sour at Stamford Bridge soon unless some drastic decisions are made.

Hazard’s departure would be a massive blow – one that most Chelsea fans wouldn’t be too confident this group of players can recover from.

While there is loads of experience in the side, only the Belgian has been able to provide consistent displays.

His goals and assists have been crucial and it wouldn’t be too harsh to say that they’ve been dependent on him for large periods in the season. The expectations that are placed on him every week are monstrous as well. 

Although the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain and the resurgence of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi have eased the load on the Belgian’s shoulders, without his magical touch, Chelsea wouldn’t be in the rather positive position they’re currently in. 

With Philippe Coutinho being suggested as a possible replacement, Chelsea fans would be getting a seasoned Premier League professional who’s done wonders in this league before.

Formerly of Liverpool, the Brazilian’s exploits in England are the stuff of legend and a move to London would suit the player’s best interest. Although he recently made his dream move to Barcelona, the 26-year-old hasn’t had the impact he would’ve hoped for.

While he has managed to score some spectacular goals in the league, consistency has become an issue and this has seen him drop out of the XI on multiple occasions over the course of the campaign. 

He made 34 appearances in the league this season and despite coming off the bench quite a lot, he managed to notch up a decent 5 goals and 2 assists.

While these figures are only average, his opportunities since making the switch have been limited too. Considering that he’s a proven Premier League player, a switch to Chelsea would only help him progress in his career.

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While this is the case, his positional requirement is something that could come to haunt Chelsea. While he can be utilised on the flanks, his best performances have always come when operating almost as a second striker.

This could be an issue as it would be unlike the Italian to change his setup to accommodate a player. Despite his experience and previous exploits in the league, this is a move that the Blues would do well to avoid.

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Which Stars Could Be Headed To The EPL This Summer?

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Despite the fact that the Premier League has wrapped up (with Manchester City on top once again), it almost feels as if it’s still undecided. This is thanks to the somewhat unusual situation of two EPL clubs being pitted against once another for the Champions League final. Naturally the league title is still the biggest Premier League prize by definition, but to some the winner of the Liverpool-versus-Tottenham clash on June 1 will have had an even greater season than Man City. Naturally, this upcoming match is soaking up lots of attention, with predictions and previews coming from everyone from average football pundits to the ever-opinionated Jose Mourinho.

For the most part though, this impending Champions League showdown is all that’s left of note on the league front for 2018/19. With most major European domestic championships decided and the FA Cup having come to a close as well, remaining football matches for the year are mostly in smaller leagues around the world – or at least less heralded ones. Now, some serious fans may love this time of year, and enjoy the chance to peek in on these others leagues. For others though, the dwindling 2018/19 season means it’s about time to look forward to the summer transfer window.

With that in mind, we wanted to consider the transfer outlook for the Premier League as it appears right now. More specifically, with another thrilling season in the books, we’re taking a look at some of the potential star players who could be brought into the league to make the 2019/20 campaign even more enjoyable.

Naturally these names are based just on rumours at this point – but they’re certainly some of the big-name players to keep an eye on, going off of what we’re hearing early.

Christian Pulisic – We’ll begin with the emerging American star Christian Pulisic because he seems like the surest bet to be a new impact player in the EPL next season. Currently on loan to Borussia Dortmund from Chelsea, Pulisic is widely expected to join the Blues over the summer and start his English career in the autumn. How much he factors into the action early on will be interesting to see, but Pulisic has the talent to be a contributor from day one, and could be a star in the making at Stamford Bridge.

Antoine Griezmann – There’s already fairly intense debate over where French forward Antoine Griezmann may end up next season. A top scorer for Atlético Madrid and 2018 World Cup winner, Griezmann has substantially raised his profile these last few years, and appears to be at the height of his powers at age 28. He’d be a major acquisition for any team. The rumour here is that he could be headed to the newly crowned champion, Manchester City – though we should note that Pep Guardiola has disputed the idea. We’ll have to wait and see on this one.

David Neres – As much as Chelsea will enjoy the near-certain boost from Pulisic, the club could also be on the lookout for a replacement for Eden Hazard, who has been linked with a move to La Liga. David Neres could fit the bill. Only 22 years old, Neres acquitted himself extraordinarily well for Ajax in the club’s Champions League run, scoring multiple significant goals out of the wing position en route to the semifinal. He likely made himself a great deal of money in the process, and will have multiple high-profile clubs vying for his signature. Chelsea appears likely to be one of them.

Memphis Depay – Liverpool may be on the verge of an historic season, but it’s also preparing to lose Daniel Sturridge. The longtime striker is heavily rumoured to be on his way out of Liverpool this summer, which means Jurgen Klopp and Co. will be seeking a goalscorer to replace him. This could wind up being one of the more interesting chases of the summer, given that it’s always interesting to see what sort of player a championship-caliber club goes after. For now though, Lyon’s Memphis Depay is one capable option who’s been linked to the Reds.

Matthijs de Ligt

Matthijs de Ligt – Matthijs de Ligt is another Ajax standout who appears to be in line for a payday and a more high-profile position in European football. In fact, after the 2018/19 campaign, he looks like he’s in the running to become one of the better defensive players on the continent. Like Neres, he’s sure to be courted by several major clubs this summer. But the strongest links currently are to Manchester United, meaning the Dutch teenager could well be heading to the EPL.

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New era on the cards? – Chelsea’s managerial woes would come to an end if this 49-year-old tactician gets signed

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Chelsea Opinion: Appointment of Erik ten Hag could mark the beginning of a new era for the Blues

According to Metro, Chelsea and Barcelona are keen to raid Champions League semi-finalists Ajax for manager Erik ten Hag, who has earned plenty of plaudits for his managerial skills this season.

The 49-year-old has been hailed as the mastermind behind Ajax’s fairy-tale run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, as ten Hag steered the Dutch giants to the last four of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time since 1997.

Ajax almost made it to the finals of the Champions League, only to be denied by Lucas Moura’s 96th-minute winner, but ten Hag has carved out a great reputation for himself in Europe.

Putting the Champions League heartbreak behind him, the Dutchman guided Ajax to a victory in the finals of the KNVB Cup over Willem II on the 5th of May and sealed the Eredivisie title with a victory over De Graafschap ten days later to bring the domestic double back to the club.

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It hasn’t been too long since Erik ten Hag took over as the manager of Ajax. The 49-year-old replaced Marcel Keizer in December 2017 and has been instrumental in the club’s rapid progress over the past year and a half, overseeing the development of players like Frenkie de Jong, Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Donny van de Beek, Matthijs de Ligt and a few others.

The Dutchman has impressed greatly with his ability to inspire the players and get the best out of them on the pitch. It has been remarkable to see how he has channelised the potentials of so many incredibly-talented youngsters in the right direction to propel Ajax to such great heights on the European stage.

One of the main reasons behind Ajax’s success against teams like Real Madrid and Juventus in the Champions League was their ability to hold their own and play their natural game with a fearless mindset. They never looked overwhelmed by the reputation of the opposition and it was apparent that all the players were high on confidence and playing with a certain level of self-belief.

Hence, it is not only ten Hag’s free-flowing aesthetic philosophy or man-management skills that have caught the eye but he also deserves plenty of credit for the mental conditioning of players.

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Ajax are set to brace themselves for approaches for several of their first-team stars this summer, with the likes of van de Beek, Ziyech, Neres, de Ligt, Andre Onana, Noussair Mazraoui and others linked with moves to the Premier League, while Frenkie de Jong has already completed a move to Barcelona. And Erik ten Hag might be the latest casualty of Ajax’s impressive season.

The Metro understands that ten Hag is unfazed by his links with Barcelona and Chelsea and has expressed his desire to stay at Ajax and work for the development of the club. That, however, should not stop Chelsea from making an effort to lure him away from the Johann Cruyff Arena.

Maurizio Sarri only took charge last summer but his future at Stamford Bridge is far from settled, despite guiding the Blues to a top-four finish in the Premier League, finals of the Carabao Cup and Europa League.

The Blues still have a chance to finish the season with silverware should they beat Arsenal in the Europa League finals at Baku but it remains to be seen whether that would be enough to save the Italian from receiving the marching orders.

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Frankly speaking, Sarri’s first season at Chelsea has been a pretty eventful one- starting off on a high, faltering midway through the campaign and signing off with a bang by securing a third-place finish.

While that doesn’t look too bad on paper, Chelsea should consider themselves lucky to have finished 3rd in the standings, despite a lacklustre run of form in the latter stages of the season.

In fact, it would be fair to say that the Blues have been largely unimpressive and frustrating this season, with their boring one-dimensional possession-based football often sending the fans to sleep.

Chelsea have a horrible record against the other top-six sides this season and the players have lacked inspiration more often than not. Sarri deserves a fair share of the blame for not being able to motivate his players. The Italian, infamous for his stubbornness, hasn’t shown the urge or the intent to tinker with his tactics in order to improve the results.

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Erik ten Hag, on the other hand, has done a terrific job to keep up the levels of motivation among the players throughout the season. Moreover, he could bring a high-intensity brand of football to Stamford Bridge, as opposed to ‘Sarri Ball’. He might not steer Chelsea to the title in his first season but his presence could mark the beginning of a new era at the club.

To Read More Chelsea News, Click Here:- Latest Chelsea News

It is high time for the Blues to stop throwing around millions and start building for the future, something which would be best accomplished by having ten Hag at the helm of affairs.

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