Ahead of tomorrow’s 2nd leg against Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final, Maurizio Sarri and Ruben Loftus-Cheek met with the media.

Here is what both had to say…


Sarri starts off by saying he has nothing to say about FIFA’s ruling. There will be an official statement released from the club later today –

“I am not able to help you, I don’t know the situation. I think there will be a statement from the club in the afternoon.”

On reaching the semi-final of the Europa League –

“We reached the target of the club, so we are really very happy with this. So we have to play in another competition, the first target is to reach the final and the next target is to win the competition. Our feeling is we deserve to win a trophy.”

On Eintracht Frankfurt –

“They are very dynamic, very aggressive in the offensive phase, very dangerous in the offensive phase, very good at counter-attacks.”

On N’Golo Kanté’s injury –

“It is not very serious but we will try to recover him in a couple of weeks. He can only be fit for a final. I am not sure, but I can try.”

On his first season at Chelsea –

“In my job, the first target is not to win a trophy, the first target is to improve players. We are trying to do it. I think we have done it with some of the young players. Callum, Loftus-Cheek… not only young players, Barkley improved.”

On contact with Marina Granovskaia or Roman Abramovich –

“I only spoke to Marina, about a month ago. And that was about pre-season.”

On wanting to have access to the transfer market next season –

“We need something from the market, so it is not easy because the level of the top two is very very high. As we can see in Europe [vs Barca]. We have to work and try. In my opinion, we can reduce the gap.”

On Roma’s interest in him –

“I like to stay here. If I can, I like to stay here.” Then asked, if only Chelsea could sack him to send him to Roma “Or… I could try with another English club.”

On what he would ask for in the transfer market if the ban was delayed –

“I think we are a very good team, so we need only one or two players.”

On Eintracht Frankfurt –

“They have two strikers really very good, Jovic and Rebic, so we have to be careful.”

On Premier League doing well in Europe this season –

“The level of the Premier League is clear. For an English team, it is not easy to arrive in May in a very good condition. Tomorrow we play match number 61. It is not easy physically but also mentally. The level is clear.”


On the transfer ban –

“If the club is banned from transfers then we have to keep the squad we have and maybe bring some players back from loan. It might give me the opportunity to play more, but I don’t want that to play more, I want to work hard.”

On this being his best season yet –

“I am 23 now, I don’t think I should be seen as a young player anymore it is down to me to step up.”

On his well-known history with back injuries –

“I have had back injuries, lower back spasms since 16-17. I have had to deal with and manage as much as I can with the physios, it has effected me a lot. We have come up with a routine to keep it at bay. I don’t think it is for the rest of my career.”

On changing his training routine to manage his back –

“Playing every three days is something I have never done so it is important I get some rest. I might not do a whole training session after a game, I do half of it or something else.”

On ending the season with another trophy –

“We’ve achieved Champions League football but this is a chance to reach a final. As Chelsea, we want to win trophies so this is a massive opportunity for us. We won’t relax.”

On a new contract –

“I am not sure (laughs) I would let an agent deal with it, I am focused on how I am playing right now.”

On the absence of N’Golo Kante –

“I don’t see it as pressure on me, I just go out and play, I try to play my best football and to help the team win.”

On staying at Chelsea –

“There’s no reason for me to leave and if I get a pay-rise, that’s great.” (Laughs)

On being a ‘Lampard-like’ goalscorer from midfield –

“I studied him a lot on how he arrives in the box and has the timing. I aspire to be a player like that.”

On the transfer ban helping see Chelsea play more local boys like him and Callum Hudson-Odoi –

“You can see from the support we get from them, you see when we come on the pitch that we get that reception, the fans respect us and believe in us.”

And that’s the end of the Press Conference. Some revealing comments made by Sarri on Kante and who could possibly be (from the loan army) part of the squad next season.

Anyways – let’s hope for no injuries tomorrow and a positive result so that we reach the UEFA Europa League final.

Terry Sazio

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