How Sarri can improve Chelsea’s midfield without spending a penny this summer – opinion

Chelsea go into the summer facing a potential transfer ban, forcing Maurizio Sarri to turn to a plethora of young talent to improve his current Blues squad.

The Blues’ midfield has delivered mixed displays this season, with some stellar performances in possession but others very tepid and mediocre. This has resulted in criticism of Sarri’s use of N’Golo Kante as a box-to-box midfielder rather than having him in the holding midfield position, currently occupied by Jorginho.

Matteo Kovacic joined on loan in the summer of 2018, and whilst he’s shown glimpses of his class, the move ultimately hasn’t worked very well for him as he now finds himself behind Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ross Barkley in the pecking order.

With the likely transfer restrictions to come, there are some internal changes Chelsea could make to improve their midfield going into next season. Here’s a look at how the Blues could transform that whole department…

Box-to-box midfielder: Start Ruben Loftus-Cheek

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The England midfielder has starred since playing regular football and he’s taking his opportunity whenever possible. He possesses all the attributes to compliment his partners in a midfield three: strength, pace, skill, power and intelligence. The only thing he lacks is game time. He seems to be getting that now, and soon we could see the very best of Loftus-Cheek who can finally have the Chelsea career his potential suggested he always would.

Holding midfielder: Rotate Jorginho and N’Golo Kante

Jorginho celebrates scoring the winner for Chelsea against Fulham - How Sarri can improve Chelsea's midfield without spending a penny this summer - opinion

These two players have undoubted quality, though in very different areas, but who’s to say you can’t have two players for separate situations? Jorginho possess arguably the best passing range at the club and can dictate the pace of the game when Chelsea come up against sides who will sit back and defend. N’Golo Kante instead prefers being a more typical defensive midfielder, using his endless energy to win back possession for his side. He’d be more suited to facing the big six, or to come on when defending a lead. They both certainly have a huge part to play over a whole season, but do they really need to be on the pitch at the same time?

Creative midfielder: Promote Mason Mount

Mason Mount in action for Derby - How Sarri can improve Chelsea's midfield without spending a penny this summer - opinion

Mount has been outstanding for Derby County under Frank Lampard, and it’s clear the youngster has been learning a lot from the Chelsea legend. With Kovacic and Barkley failing to make that creative role in Sarri’s system their own, there’s an opportunity for Mount to break through and assert himself there. He possesses skill and a cultured first touch, but more importantly an eye for goal. If this were to happen, Chelsea would be fielding two academy graduates in midfield (Loftus-Cheek as well), which really would be a deviation from the norm.

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