2019-01-02 by W.M.
Maurizio Sarri Says Chelsea Don’t Need a Striker but ‘Maybe Another Winger’ | Bleacher Report
Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says the Blues do not need to sign another striker but may move for a winger because of their current injury problems.
According to Matt Law at the Daily Telegraph, Sarri also ruled out the possibility of bringing Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham back early from loan spells when asked about his squad:
“No, because I have the option with (Eden) Hazard in this position. We have (Alvaro) Morata and Hazard who can play very well in this position, as we have seen in the last two or three matches.
“So I think that at the moment I don’t need another striker. Maybe another winger, because now we are in trouble with the injuries of Pedro, of Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek. At the moment I have no option for the wingers.”
Chelsea have lacked a consistent goalscorer this season with neither Alvaro Morata nor Olivier Giroud able to consistently impress for the Blues:
Squawka Football @Squawka
COMBINED: Oliver Giroud and Álvaro Morata in the Premier League this season:
• 29 appearances
• 41 shots attempted
• 11 shots on target
• 6 goals
• 4 assists
Sarri’s biggest problem. https://t.co/JXGts0jVUY
Giroud also looks set for a spell on the sidelines after picking up an injury against Crystal Palace on Sunday:
Kristof Terreur 📰🎥 @HLNinEngeland
The ankle and the damage done. Giroud on crutches. #cfc https://t.co/GoBflDkNCQ
Sarri has used Eden Hazard as a false nine in recent weeks and seems happy with the Belgium international in that role:
Liam Twomey @liam_twomey
I ask Sarri if Hazard false nine is now his preferred option. He says he thinks it can make Chelsea better “in the defensive phase” #cfc
Liam Twomey @liam_twomey
Sarri says he’s “very happy” with Hazard as a false nine “but in the future he can play also as a winger, of course” #cfc
Chelsea head into 2019 in good shape despite the lack of options in attack. The Blues are fourth in the Premier League, into the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup and the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League.
However, injuries are starting to have an impact on Sarri’s side. The Italian has said his team are “in trouble because, in January, we have to play every three days,” per Liam Twomey at ESPN FC.
Sarri’s reluctance to sign a striker may mean Hazard being used increasingly in a central role which will continue to limit Chelsea’s options out wide.
Chelsea have been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic, but any move for the American may have to wait until the summer:
B/R Football @brfootball
Chelsea have agreed a €50m ($57m) deal to sign Christian Pulisic this summer, @BILD are reporting https://t.co/AcMzYa6ZzL
However, Lyon star Nabil Fekir has emerged as a potential January option for the Blues, according to Adam Shergold at MailOnline.
It can be difficult to bring in the right players in the January transfer window, but Chelsea do appear in need of attacking reinforcements if they are to secure a place in the top four and cope with the demands of European football.