Chelsea legend Michael Ballack believes that the Europa League will not be a priority for Maurizio Sarri this season. The Blues are playing in Europe’s second-tier club competition this season after they finished in fifth in the Premier League last term.

During Ballack’s time, Chelsea playing in the Europa League – or UEFA Cup, as it was then known – was something that was simply unheard of. However, at that time, the Premier League dynamics were different and the league as a whole was more predictable with Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and the Stamford Bridge giants almost always completing the top-four finishers.

Former Germany national team captain Ballack told The Sun: “I wouldn’t say their first target should be the Europa League. Chelsea should be a Champions League club.

“But they have a situation where they have a great chance to win an international trophy. They must do their best to take it. Ambition-wise, Chelsea must think about the Premier League and the Champions League, the titles which are really important.

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“So far they have done well and made a good start. But Manchester City are playing better at the moment, even if the gap is only two points. Beating them will be a real challenge.”

Chelsea have started the 2018/19 season impressively. As it stands, they are the only undefeated team from Europe’s top five leagues in all competitions. Judging by the way that they are playing, they could be serious contenders for this season’s Champions League places, although they may find it difficult to be a contender for the Premier League title as they have not been as lethal in front of goal so far as compared to Liverpool and Manchester City.

The Blues should be going all out to win all trophies on offer this season in order to build momentum and confidence following their frustrating form of last season. With the Premier League being as competitive as it is, it is hard to predict who will end up finishing in the top four this season.

Winning the Europa League this season will assure Sarri’s men of entrance into next season’s Champions League even if they fail to finish in the top four of the English top flight.