Maurizio Sarri was clearly one to follow his own path in his single season in England, all the way through to the fact he utterly ignored the Chelsea protocol and walked out on the club rather than doing what most do and wait to be sacked.
One of the major questions I have is what happens to Jorginho now? Clearly signed as he was teacher’s pet at Napoli will be heading to Turin now?
A part of me respects Sarri even more now. Having spent most of 2019 being told he was likely to be sacked he has managed to qualify for the Champions League, win the Europa League, quit rather than be sacked and move straight into a better job. That’s not a bad season’s work, Maurizio.
And what now for Chelsea? Everything seems to be pointing to Frank Lampard’s Derby County manager, Frank Lampard. After all, losing in a play-off final to Aston Villa are all the coaching credentials you need, right?
Of course, there is more to Lampard being linked to Stamford Bridge. He did play there somewhat successfully. Forget the fact it could be career suicide, let’s get all romantic about it. He is English. He will be managing a club in the Champions League. He might even have to pick young English talent because the club aren’t allowed to buy anyone. I give him until Valentine’s Day before Roman is on the phone to Jose, asking whether he could hold the fort for a while.
Eden Hazard will be gutted at the timing of his move to Real Madrid, I would imagine. One of his lesser-known career goals is to be managed by someone who couldn’t agree with Steven Gerrard over who goes and who stays when playing in midfield for England. Throw Jody Morris into the mix and Eden might well be on the phone to Florentino enquiring how legally binding that contract is.
Manchester United are still the object of much mirth. It’s been announced that the club won’t be appointing a Director of Football or such like after all. That’s because Mr Ed still believes he can do a much better job than anyone who might know a thing or two about the game.
As a direct consequence, United are ‘about’ to make a move for pretty much any young footballer you can think of. Matthijs de Ligt? They are about to make a formal approach. Aaron Wan-Bissaka? They are about to go back with an improved offer now that Crystal Palace have stopped wetting themselves over the first one. Bruno Fernandes? You guessed it, they are about to consider maybe thinking about putting a tentative enquiry in. Be warned United fans, there is every chance that Daniel James might be your only signing before pre-season gets underway in a couple of weeks time.
But that’s OK because at least Paul Pogba is openly committing his future to Old Trafford. Yeah, about that. It turns out that Pogz has had enough of seeing Jesse Lingard upload countless videos to Instagram and fancies seeing what the Madrid nightlife is like. £100m will probably do it, but with Mr Ed still in charge, you could see it being £70m.
Who could have possibly imagined that West Ham would be winning the summer transfer window halfway through June? They’ve pulled off a very uncharacteristic signing by nabbing Pablo Fornals from Villarreal. The only thing that would make this feel a little more West Ham like is if he did his cruciate in the first pre-season friendly. He is a proper player and, I’d go as far as saying, far too good to be trying to put it on a plate for Michail Antonio.