Maurizio Sarri leaves Chelsea for Juventus: His reign in quotes

Maurizio Sarri’s reign as Chelsea head coach has come to an end after just one season in charge, during which his team finished third in the Premier League and won the Europa League.

The Italian came in with the aim of introducing a more attractive brand of football at Stamford Bridge and overcame a tricky period during the winter to sign off in style.

Here, we look back at his brief reign in quotes…

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“I know this will be an extremely difficult challenge for me. The Premier League is different to Serie A because it is stronger at the moment. I play in a slightly different way so it will take some time for the squad.” – Speaking at his first Chelsea press conference in July

“It was very, very difficult because we lost the distances between the players and we were unable to cover the lost balls and press like a team, so we were really in trouble.” – The view after seeing his Chelsea team beat Arsenal 3-2 in a crazy game at Stamford Bridge in August

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“I think that at this moment Liverpool and Manchester City are another step than us. But I think we can improve. My target is to be the best team in England, but not in one month.” – After Chelsea went top of the table with a 4-1 win over Cardiff in September

“I have spoken with the member of my staff and then I bring him to speak with Mourinho to say sorry to him. We made a mistake. We were in the wrong.” – When Marco Ianni goaded Jose Mourinho following Chelsea’s late equaliser against Manchester United in October

“He has to improve more in personality and in confidence because sometimes he’s a little bit fragile.” – His verdict on Alvaro Morata despite the striker scoring twice in the 3-1 win over Crystal Palace in November that took Chelsea above Liverpool after 11 games

“I think, as you know, I want to play a central midfielder as a very technical player – Jorginho or [Cesc] Fabregas. I don’t want [N’Golo] Kante in this position.” – Explaining his deployment of Kante in an advanced role following his first Premier League defeat away to Tottenham

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“I am happy with the mentality of the team in this match. It is difficult for us to find motivation but when we are, we are a very strong team.” – After becoming the first team to beat Manchester City in the Premier League this season in December

“Maybe it is my fault, maybe I am not able to motivate them.” – Following the 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth in January, having spoken to the players for an hour in the dressing room

“I didn’t see my football. I am worried about my team, the performance, but my job is always at risk.” – After seeing his Chelsea side thrashed 6-0 by Manchester City in February, the club’s worst defeat since 1991 and the worst defeat of his career

“I am worried about the result, not our fans. We played confusing football.” – After the FA Cup elimination at the hands of Manchester United that saw him abused by his own fans

“I misunderstood the problem and only realised the situation when the doctor arrived at the bench.” – His reaction after Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted during Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City at Wembley

“It was really very easy because Kepa made a very big mistake.” – On his decision to drop Arrizabalaga nevertheless for the subsequent 2-0 win over Tottenham in the Premier League

“The players don’t know what happened and at the moment I can’t explain the change. It is very strange.” – After a second-half surrender in the 2-0 defeat against Everton in March

“We want to win the Europa League because it’s a very important competition, not for getting into the Champions League.” – On prioritising silverware back in April

“I think so, but I am not sure. I can say only that the club asked me for the Champions League and we reached the target.” – On uncertainty over his future despite finishing third

“If the situation is like this, I want to go immediately.” – On whether he needed to win the Europa League to retain his job at Chelsea

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