The Italian tactician was known for his stubbornness when it comes to sticking with the same tactics and using the same players he developed trust in. The former Napoli boss was ready to raid his old club for about half of their team to follow him to West London. No surprise he signed Jorginho less than 24 hours after his appointment at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri was also going to sign Albanian full back Elseid Hysaj. Like Jorginho, the right back had developed a strong professional relationship with Sarri; the only coach he had ever played senior football for (at Empoli and then at Napoli). It was no surprise that he'd want to follow Sarri wherever he goes. Hysaj’s release clause is a hefty £44 million.
Signing Elseid Hysaj would have blocked the path of Reece James who was excelling on loan at Wigan in the Championship that season. James had won Chelsea's academy player of the year the previous campaign and was sent out on loan to afford him some playing time and first team experience. Reece immediately established himself as a key player for Wigan upon his arrival.
The plaudits for James only got greater as the season went on, winning 7 Man of the match awards throughout the season (note that Wigan only won 11 games, so there weren't many opportunities for him to win it).
Reece James' accolades at Wigan didn't stop there. He won Wigan's Player of the Year (with over 96% of votes), Players' Player of the Year, goal of the Season, won the Championship Player of the Month 4 times and made the Championship team of the season.
Of course we all know the rest of the story with Reece James. He broke into Chelsea's first team the following season courtesy of Frank Lampard. He immediately impressed on his debut in the league cup against Grimsby Town, netting a goal and assisting twice.
The accolades kept coming for Reece as he became Chelsea's youngest ever goalscorer in the Champions League; scoring the 4th goal in an 8 goal thriller against Ajax.
Even with a change of manager, James kept his place in Thomas Tuchel's team and he is now a double European Champion - winning the UEFA Champions League and Super Cup.
He is currently one of, if not the most important player for table topping Chelsea in the English Premier League. He is the highest goal contributor for the Blues - scoring 4 goals and providing 3 assists from wing back.
The story would have been very different for Reece James if Maurizio Sarri had sanctioned the purchase of Elseid Hysaj instead. The Napoli defender would have secured the right back/wing back position for years to come. This would have blocked the path of Reece James who would have been sent on another loan or even signed permanently for another club by now.
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