Chelsea are reportedly considering bringing back Steve Holland to the club, this time as a manager, amid doubts over the future of current boss Maurizio Sarri.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, Chelsea are eyeing England assistant manager Steve Holland as a possible candidate to replace current boss Maurizio Sarri who could be set to leave the club just a year after taking over the reins.
Sarri arrived at Chelsea last summer, replacing compatriot Antonio Conte. Under the Italian, the Blues made a spectacular start to the 2018-19 campaign, but began to stutter in the second half of the season. Chelsea did end the term on a strong note, finishing third in the Premier League and winning the UEFA Champions League, but Sarri’s job is far from secure.
Given that Sarri hasn’t been able to endear himself to the fans, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is believed to be open to the idea of sacking him ahead of the next season. The speculations have only intensified ever since the Juventus job became available, with reports claiming that Sarri has already agreed terms to replace Massimiliano Allegri in Turin.
Amidst all the uncertainties, Chelsea legend Frank Lampard was reported to be the favourite to replace Sarri as the manager, following his excellent work at Derby County last season. And now, Steve Holland has also emerged as a potential replacement for the former Napoli manager.
Holland, who is currently the assistant manager of the England national team under Gareth Southgate, spent seven years at Chelsea, working as the No. 2 for a host of managers starting from Carlo Ancelotti to Antonio Conte. The 49-year-old left the West London outfit in 2017, to work with Southgate and England.
Holland played a critical role in sketching out the tactical plans during England’s semi-final run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and their progress to the upcoming UEFA Nations League semi-finals as well. The Englishman is reportedly held in high regard by the Chelsea hierarchy, and his deep knowledge of the club would be an added bonus.
Moreover, with Chelsea facing a two-window transfer ban, having someone at the helm who has had prior experience of working with the club’s youth players would be a huge advantage, as they look to integrate players from their loan army into the first-team next season. That makes Holland a solid candidate to take over the reins at Stamford Bridge next season.
Despite the positives, the fact that Holland hasn’t had a full-time managerial stint till date would count against him, especially with Chelsea looking to push the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League. As things stand, Lampard remains the favourite, but it all depends on whether Sarri remains at the club or leaves for Juventus.