Sarri on Cahill’s future, Klopp and ‘top-level’ Liverpool, injury latest and being a ‘spy’ for Napoli
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri spoke about a number of issues at a news conference ahead of the game against Liverpool. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.
On whether Eden Hazard is the world’s best
“Maybe. I don’t know. I think he is for sure one of the best. But I am absolutely convinced that he can improve.
“If he is able to improve during training then maybe he will be able to be at 100%, because I think we have seen only 70, 75 or 80% of his potential.
“So I think if he is able to improve then he will be the best in the world.”
On how Hazard can improve
“With more intensity in training. I think every player prefer to play (in matches). That is normal I think.
“I think he has the opportunity to improve more and to become the best player in the world.
“Technically I think he is the best and so I want him to be the best in the world.”
On how Hazard compares with other top players
“He is very difficult to compare with other players. He’s a genius, I think. He is unique.”
On the challenge of getting the best out of him
“It’s a very interesting challenge. He has a lot to give to himself and to give to the team and to give to the staff. And I want everything.”
“They are a top-level team. They have worked with the same coach for four seasons. I think they are ready now to win the Premier League.”
On Liverpool not winning the title for 28 years
“Yes. It’s very strange. But the important thing is that they are ready.”
On Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp
“He is one of the best of course – one of the best coaches in the world at the moment.
“He has worked very well in the last season with his players and, as I said, now I think they are ready to win – to win maybe the Premier League, maybe the Champions League, but they are ready to win something important.”
On whether beating Liverpool in the Carabao Cup gives Chelsea a psychological advantage
“I don’t think so, because it will be another match in another competition with a different starting XI.
“I think maybe they (Liverpool) can increase the determination after Wednesday. That was a difficult match and it will be a difficult match tomorrow.
“It’s another competition with another starting XI but usually they play to win, and we play to win, so maybe it will be an open match like the last one on Wednesday.”
On Pedro, Rudiger and Loftus-Cheek
“Yesterday he (Rudiger) had training in the second part with the team, so we have to see the last training (session). I think there is the possibility to recover.”
“Pedro yesterday had the last part of the training with the team, like Rudiger and Loftus-Cheek. So we need to see the last training (session) and then we will decide,” Sarri said.
“They are almost ready, so the situation is better than three or four days ago.”
On Andreas Christensen
“Christensen was not injured, He had a stomach ache during the (Liverpool) match. He is not injured.”
On Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas
“I am very, very happy with the performance of Fabregas and Cahill. They played for 90 minutes after a long time.
“I don’t know at the moment if they are ready to play twice in a week for 90 minutes.
“But now, after Wednesday, I am sure they will be very useful for us during the season. That is very important for me.”
On Cahill’s future
“I have spoken with him but there is October, November and December, so I think he has to wait and we have to wait.
“I repeat: I was really happy with the performance of Cahill. So now Gary for me is very useful. January is far from now, so we’ll see.”
On his time at Chelsea so far
“What can I say? So far so good.”
On whether he is the ‘perfect spy’ for his former club Napoli, who face Liverpool in the Champions League
“Napoli already know Liverpool very well. I saw some people from Napoli at our game against Liverpool on Wednesday.”