Dries Mertens drops hint about linking up with Chelsea FC boss Maurizio Sarri
The Napoli forward refuses to rule out working with Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri in the future
Dries Mertens has refused to rule out a potential reunion with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea FC.
The Napoli forward produced some of the best football of his career under the Italian head coach at the Serie A club.
Mertens scored 56 goals in 76 games during three seasons under Sarri at Napoli to establish himself as one of the leading goal-scorers in the Italian top flight.
Chelsea FC have made an impressive start to life under Sarri following a return of 34 points from their opening 16 Premier League games to challenge for a top-four finish.
Sarri has been forced to contend with persistent speculation linking Eden Hazard with a potential move to Real Madrid in the 2019 summer transfer window.
Mertens would certainly add more firepower to the Chelsea FC team should a move materialise in the future.
Speaking to The Times about working under Sarri in the future, Mertens said: “I love it here [at Napoli].
“But maybe in one year, I’m free, so maybe you never know, maybe Sarri is going to call me. We will see.”
Mertens added: “Sarri does not have an ‘off’ button. I think he sleeps one hour a night and he is always thinking about football.
“Maybe because he had less time because he arrived late in the game and he is playing catch-up? I learnt a lot from him.
“The thing I loved most about him is that you feel you are playing with 12 not 11. He puts the line very high so the strikers feel the midfielders are close.
“I’m sure now Sarri is learning things about London. He knows so many facts, he’s crazy but interesting.”
Mertens incurred the wrath of Liverpool FC supporters ahead of Napoli’s trip to Anfield in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Asked about the famous “This Is Anfield” sign, Mertens said:
“My strongest memory is that they have a sign saying ‘This is Anfield’ and everyone was talking about it, so I was thinking it’s very big, you know,” Mertens added.
“I came through the tunnel and I asked, ‘Where is the thing?’ and they said you missed it and I hadn’t noticed it. So, in the second half, I’m looking at this small thing and asking, ‘Is this so special?’”
However, Mertens struggled to have an impact on the Champions League clash as Mohamed Salah scored a first-half winner to end Napoli’s participation in the competition.
The Belgian forward was on the receiving end of a dangerous tackle from Virgil van Dijk during the Champions League clash.