In the pre-match conference before Chelsea’s match against Cardiff last Saturday, Maurizio Sarri has revealed he has made a decision on who will be the permanent captain of his squad. “I have my idea, I have decided, but before telling you my decision I would like to speak to the players and the club,” said the Italian.
“In this moment it’s not possible so for the moment the captain is [Cesar] Azpilicueta. I will tell you the final decision after I will be able to talk with the players and the club.” So before Sarri makes his announcement, let’s take a look at the possible candidates for the Chelsea captaincy, ranging from the most probable to wildcard nominees – in no particular order.
First up on the list is Azpilicueta. With the last permanent captain Gary Cahill yet to make an appearance for the club in the new campaign, the Spaniard has skippered the Blues outfit in their 4-1 victory over the Wales outfit and has done so in their four previous matches.Embed from Getty Images
Like the England defender, the Spanish rightback is one of the most senior players in the squad and would fit the bill perfectly. Azpilicueta is in the mould of Cahill and is one of the assured voices in the Blues dressing room, sure to communicate his thoughts post-game and always ready to uplift the morale of his fellow teammates after a tough defeat.
Despite halving his spell at Chelsea with a two-year stint at Paris Saint-Germain, Luiz remains a big personality in West London on and off the pitch. When long-serving captain John Terry left for Aston Villa at the end of last season, Luiz was widely tipped by the Chelsea faithful to become captain and even had the backing of owner Roman Abramovich to take over the armband before Gary Cahill eventually assumed the captaincy.
Luiz has also captained the Brazil national side albeit in one of the darkest moments of the Selecao in their whole history but because he remains a staunch presence at the Blues backline so far this term, and coupled with his affable relationship with the club’s supporters as well as with teammates, making him club captain would be a popular decision for Sarri.
If Sarri is the general scheming Chelsea’s blueprint for success at the training ground and on the touchline, Jorginho is the midfield lieutenant barking orders at the heart of the Chelsea midfield on the pitch. In previous matches, the Italian international has been a prominent vocal presence in the game, constantly signalling to his teammates where to pass the ball if he isn’t the one on it.Embed from Getty Images
That way, Chelsea can at least adapt the way that Sarri wants them to play quicker and this kind of importance that his former charge at Napoli brings to the Blues squad may prompt Sarri to ask Jorginho to translate that sort of leadership qualities on the pitch into the dressing room.
If Jorginho is effectively the most responsible as to how the Blues play, Hazard is effectively the most responsible as to how the Blues win. Such is the impact of the Belgian’s presence on the pitch that in the first five games of the Blues this season, Hazard has already contributed 5 goals (two penalties) and 2 assists, despite being a starter in only three of those matches.
The Belgian ace also holds the distinction along with Luiz as having captained their respective national sides and having your club’s best player as your captain as well may prove as a good decision. Hazard impressed at the World Cup in Russia and his supreme confidence in his ability on the pitch that strikes fear into the opposition almost immediately reveals he possesses the self-belief needed to excel in such a role.
Kante is certainly the most silent of the Chelsea bunch in the dressing room and while not the most vocal player in the game, the French World Cup winner is one of the most dominant in it. Having developed from being an industrious defensive midfielder into a more dynamic box-to-box one, Kante always does his talking on the pitch.Embed from Getty Images
Holding the distinction as one of the nicest, if not the nicest, men in Chelsea, and quite possibly in football, Kante would be a radical choice for the captaincy at Stamford Bridge although most certainly, what Sarri would be getting is a skipper that would lead by example.