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Chelsea Announce Maurizio Sarri as Manager on 3-Year Contract

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 14, 2018

Napoli's Italian coach Maurizio Sarri looks on during the Italian Serie A football match SSC Napoli vs FC Crotone on May 20, 2018 at the San Paolo Stadium. (Photo by CARLO HERMANN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
CARLO HERMANN/Getty Images

Chelsea announced the appointment of Maurizio Sarri as their new manager on Saturday, with the Italian signing a three-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues confirmed his arrival via Twitter:

Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC

Maurizio Sarri is the new Chelsea head coach! Full story: https://t.co/qQwb5xZT3f #WelcomeSarri https://t.co/DCNfoVCoz6

His appointment followed the announcement of compatriot Antonio Conte's departure on Friday.

In a statement on Chelsea's official website, the 59-year-old said:

"I am very happy to be coming to Chelsea and the Premier League. It is an exciting new period in my career. 

"I look forward to starting work and meeting the players on Monday ahead of travelling to Australia, where I will be able to get to know the squad and begin our match action.

"I hope we can provide some entertaining football for our fans, and that we will be competing for trophies at the end of the season, which is what this club deserves."

Napoli also released a statement wishing him well:

Official SSC Napoli @en_sscnapoli

We hope Maurizio finds, wherever he goes, that same warmth, respect and affection he enjoyed from everyone at the club and in this city. Best of luck, Maurizio! #ForzaNapoliSempre

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Sarri did not win any silverware with Napoli and was unable to topple Juventus from the summit of Serie A, but his side collected 82, 86 and most recently 91 points in his three league campaigns with them.

He was named Serie A's coach of the year in 2017 after a campaign that saw the Partenopei rack up 94 goals despite having sold Gonzalo Higuain to Juve the previous summer.

Indeed, Napoli were a prolific force under his tutelage, as OptaJoe highlighted:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

251 - In their three seasons under Maurizio Sarri, Napoli scored more league goals than any other side in Serie A. Bridged. https://t.co/3tIQKN9SSd

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker is eagerly anticipating watching Sarri's exciting brand of football at Stamford Bridge:

Gary Lineker @GaryLineker

Maurizio Sarri is the new @ChelseaFC coach. If he creates a team as entertaining to watch as Napoli were under his stewardship then Chelsea’s fans are in for a treat.

As football writer Dan Levene noted, Sarri's appointment marks a significant departure from the coaches normally brought in at Chelsea:

Dan Levene @danlevene

Maurizio Sarri confirmed as Chelsea boss. Major change in direction from Abramovich: appointing a head coach with no trophy-winning pedigree. Quality of his football at Napoli not in question. But this job usually requires fast delivery – which has evaded Sarri for two decades.

The Italian may find the challenge of overcoming Pep Guardiola's Manchester City to be a similarly difficult task to rivalling Juventus in Serie A, with the added competition of Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal making it harder still.

However, even if he doesn't manage to land the Premier League title or other major silverware during his time at the club, the coming years should be thoroughly enjoyable at Stamford Bridge.

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