Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has effectively confirmed that the Blues will be trotting out in a 4-3-3 formation under new head coach Maurizio Sarri for the upcoming Premier League season.
“He (Sarri) is bringing a different style, a different formation and we just need to grow into it,” Fabregas was quoted as saying by the club website.
Under Antonio Conte, Sarri’s predecessor, the Blues famously shifted to a 3-4-3 system and won two trophies (Premier League and FA Cup) in as many years.
And while Sarri hails from Italy like Conte, the two managers are as different as chalk and cheese.
The former Napoli boss primarily used a 4-3-3 during his three seasons with the Partenopei.
And in the training sessions that he’s allowed the media to witness, the Blues have shifted to a four-man defence but Fabregas’ comments have finally put an end to the speculation.
“We need to learn. We have been two years with Antonio working in a system with 5-4-1, 3-5-2, depending on the game.”
“It is very different to play with five or three at the back than it is to play with four. We need time to re-adapt to a back four and to what the boss wants from us but I believe we are intelligent players and players at the top level who will try to adapt as soon as possible,” the Spanish midfielder added.
So far, Chelsea have made only signing this summer. Italian midfielder Jorginho arrived from Napoli to significantly strengthen their options in the middle of the park.
The Sarri era will get underway on Monday when the Blues take on Perth Glory FC (1700 IST) and fans will get to see the new-look Chelsea side in action for the first time.
Chelsea open their Premeir League campaign with an away clash at Huddersfield Town on August 11 but they also have a Community Shield tie with Manchester City (August 5) that looms large on the horizon.
Will Sarri be able to drill his attacking philosophy into his players with just a few weeks to go before the 2017/18 season gets underway?