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Sarri ‘no problem’ with Willian, happy for Pedro, worried about Cesc, Courtois

Maurizio Sarri was asked about several of his players during Friday’s pre-match press conference

Sarri took on a veritable plethora of journalists earlier today, in his first official pre-match conference ahead of a (semi-)competitive outing for Cheslea Football Club. But seeing as how the transfer window is still raging, he had to wait until the fifth question before the actual reason for the meeting in the first place, the clash against Manchester City even came up.

He started out with Pedro and his contract extension, announced by the club earlier today, news that made the new boss a happy man.

“I am very happy about this. Pedro is very important for us. He is a very technical player and very useful for me. I am really happy about the new contract, he is a top player and it is important to keep the top players.”

As for his other right winger, Sarri was not too happy about Willian’s delay in returning from post-World Cup holidays, but fortunately a words to clear the air was all that was needed to get back to the business of football.

“I spoke yesterday with him about him being late, not his future. It was a very positive conversation and I am very happy about it. There is no Willian problem.”

In fact, Sarri is very confident that there won’t be a Diego Costa situation with Willian, despite some scaremongering to the contrary by certain tabloids.

“Yes I do [think he will stay]. Very confident.”

But, he sounds less sure about Courtois, with hope replacing confidence in this instance.

“Courtois is the goalkeeper of the club, I don’t know in the future, it depends on the club, and especially on him I think. I hope Courtois will be our goalkeeper.”

Another worry is the fitness of Cesc Fabregas, who’s started every preseason match so far, but picked up a knock against Arsenal and has had to use crutches to move around the last couple days. While the injury is not serious, Sarri confirmed that Cesc is doubtful for Sunday.

“Cesc does not have a serious injury. I don’t know if he will be able to play on Sunday.”

Sarri had hinted at keeping Sunday’s starting lineup similar to what we’ve seen in other games so far, but Fabregas’s injury will force at least a minor rethink. And while players such as David Luiz are set to play “very important” roles in the season ahead, there could be others, such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who could force themselves into the reckoning yet.

But Sarri also wants to win, so it won’t be just a fitness exercise at Wembley on Sunday.

“I am looking forward to playing in Wembley, it is my first time. The match will be very difficult for us.”

“I want to win, because it is very important to have a trophy immediately. At this point of the season it is important the performance, we have to improve up close.”

“I don’t know [who will start]. I want to see the last two training [sessions] and maybe the starting XI will be very near to the last match.”

“Maybe something different can happen. I want to see the last two training [sessions].”

-Maurizio Sarri; source:

Good luck to us all.

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