Ian Wright believes Chelsea are capable of challenging for the Premier League title in Maurizio Sarri’s debut season at the club.

After capturing the league title in 2016-207 under Antonio Conte, the Blues could only manage a fifth-place finish in the previous campaign marred by a widening disconnect between Conte and the club hierarchy and despite winning the FA Cup, the club decided to give Conte his marching orders.

A protracted negotation went on over the summer regarding Conte’s dismissal but when it was eventually finalised, Roman Abramovich quickly installed Maurizio Sarri at the helm. Sarri had transformed Napoli into one of the most attractive sides in Europe with his aggressive pressing and high-tempo passing brand of football – a style that Abramovich had long craved for at Stamford Bridge – that prompted the Chelsea owner to appoint the 59-year-old despite having collected no silverware yet in his managerial career.

And former Arsenal striker and current pundit Wright believes the Russian billionaire made a great punt in choosing the former Napoli as Conte’s successor, claiming the bright start the Blues have made under Sarri will allow them to mount a title challenge this season. “Abramovich looks to have pulled another rabbit out of the hat in appointing Maurizio Sarri,” said Wright. “The way Chelsea have started the season under the Italian has only confirmed my belief that they will be in the mix this time.”

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Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Newcastle at the weekend sees the West London club collect maximum points in their first three league matches, after also having beaten Huddersfield in their season opener and then bitter rivals Arsenal in a 3-2 win at their Stamford Bridge debut.

They currently sit third behind Liverpool and Tottenham in the standings via goal difference and Wright claims with Sarri, Chelsea will be setting the Premier League on fire with bold, attacking football that will accompany their collection of silverware – a combination that Abramovich has wanted for so long. “They will clearly do it the way Abramovich loves too — with entertaining, exciting football which will always put backsides on seats.”