The arrival of Maurizio Sarri has not only introduced an exciting brand of football at Chelsea but also transformed them into prime Premier League contenders despite last season’s catastrophe under Antonio Conte. Their summer business has been apt, however, the Blues are now in for Elseid Hysaj, the Napoli right-back who is currently stalling a contract extension in Naples as per latest reports.
The 24-year-old Albanian international flourished under Sarri at Empoli before completing a summer move to Gli Azzurri back in 2015 alongside the gaffer who accepted the Napoli challenge replacing Rafael Benitez. Hysaj has featured as the first-choice option ever since his high-profile move and is now a key resource under Carlo Ancelotti exhibiting his attacking flair as well as defensive discipline.
However, the recent emergence of Kevin Malcuit has cast doubts over his future in Italy and Mario Giuffredi, Hysaj’s agent is now playing hardball revealing Chelsea’s interest in the fullback.
“Chelsea in for Hysaj? If you see Napoli are playing Malcuit and looking at other players, clearly it means that there are also enquiries.”
He has rated the Albanian as a ‘€60m-player’ and a reunion with the former boss at Stamford Bridge cannot be ruled out considering the Blues’ necessity of strengthening the lineup.
Although Hysaj’s current deal will run out in 2021, Chelsea should keep monitoring his status in order to build a side accustomed to ‘Sarriball’. César Azpilicueta brings in much-needed experience as a right fullback but has not settled in yet in Sarri’s system. Davide Zappacosta, the Spaniard’s understudy suits more in a wingback role for his offensive contribution but lacks composure defensively.
Hysaj has also exhibited his ability to feature as a left fullback and the physicality, as well as pace he offers, should help him to flourish in the English environment. He must be viewed as the long-term successor of Azpilicueta whereas the veteran might also be shifted to a central role once the Napoli star completes his switch to Premier League football.