Ruben Loftus-Cheek told to stay at Chelsea and fight for his place

• England midfielder will stay and work with Maurizio Sarri
• Crystal Palace and Schalke among clubs keen on loan deal Chelsea have made clear to Ruben Loftus-Cheek that he will have opportunities to make his mark in the first team at Stamford Bridge this season and have reiterated their reluctance to sanction another loan move in what remains of the European transfer window. Loftus-Cheek, whose performances at Crystal Palace last season earned him a place in England’s World Cup squad, has been keen to prove himself back at his parent club this term but was dismayed to find himself omitted from Maurizio Sarri’s matchday squad for the win against Arsenal on Saturday. His non‑involvement for that game, after a cameo at Huddersfield on the opening weekend, had left the 22‑year‑old contemplating whether he would have to seek a loan move abroad before the end of the month. Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Burnley already suffering effects of Europe, the flipside to N’Golo Kanté’s new role and Wolves’s strikers struggling to match team’s midfield talent Brighton upstaged Manchester United, but that they did so without the help of any of their headline summer signings (Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Yves Bissouma and Bernardo, who cost a combined £41m) is proof they are only just getting started. An opening-day defeat by Watford was desperately disappointing but, as poor as United were, Brighton bossed this match from start to finish. Martín Montoya, a deadline-day arrival from Valencia, impressed on his debut but it was the presence of the wily Glenn Murray and the purring Pascal Gross, a £3m buy from Ingolstadt, that again proved pivotal. Better still, Chris Hughton still has a wealth of attacking talent, including the striker Florin Andone, to infuse his team with. This kind of match will not necessarily define Brighton’s season but Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Álvaro Morata: ‘I want to change things, not for the haters, but for Chelsea’

The striker Antonio Conte once called the kind of man you’d like to ‘marry your daughter’ is determined to add a reputation for ruthlessness in front of goal to his nice-guy image Last September Chelsea’s then manager, Antonio Conte, used a pre-match press conference to lavish praise on Álvaro Morata. The Italian described the Spaniard as a “complete player” after a run of four goals in six appearances for the club, before going on to say something that was meant warmly but that in its own curious way damned the forward. “You’d be open to have this type of person marry your daughter. A good guy, a polite person.” Few men want to be described as polite daughter-marrying material and certainly not someone trying to establish themselves in the cut-throat environment of the Premier League. The compliment was particularly unwelcome for Morata given that he had been tasked with Continue reading "Álvaro Morata: ‘I want to change things, not for the haters, but for Chelsea’"

Eden Hazard confirms he will not leave Chelsea this month

• Belgian has been heavily linked with move to Real Madrid
• ‘At the moment I am happy – I won’t go’ says 27-year-oldEden Hazard has confirmed he will not leave Chelsea this month, describing rumours surrounding his future as “stupidity”. Hazard has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge for some time, and particularly so after strongly hinting last month, following Belgium’s involvement at the World Cup, that his time in west London had come to an end. “After six wonderful years at Chelsea, it might be time to discover something different,” said the forward. “I can decide if I want to stay or go.” Continue reading...

Maurizio Sarri emerges with points from new boys’ wild helter-skelter | Amy Lawrence

Italian has good fortune Chelsea have started with two wins while Unai Emery must feel aggrieved Arsenal are stuck on zeroFor two managers new to English football, bringing their own ideas and cultures to these shores, it did not take long to experience the full chaos of the Premier League in all of its maddening, unpredictable, helter-skelter glory. At half-time, as Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery went back to their dressing rooms to digest a splurge of goals, misses and some harrowing defending, it must have been a challenge to know where to start to try to make sense of it all. The lurching turbulence and shifting tension was relentless. Sarri did not mind admitting that during the most wayward period for his team he would have been better off smoking than watching. Related: Marcos Alonso strikes late as Chelsea beat Arsenal in five-goal thriller Continue reading...

Marcos Alonso strikes late as Chelsea beat Arsenal in five-goal thriller

This ended up feeling like a vindication of all the caution expressed publicly by Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery in the campaign’s early days. Chelsea, relieved to have a player of Eden Hazard’s calibre to fling on to make a difference, triumphed here at Arsenal’s expense and celebrated in the giddy din at the final whistle. But for all the excitement this furious contest whipped up it also provided evidence as to why these teams are outsiders in the title race. Marcos Alonso’s winner came late on, with Petr Cech twice going on to deny Hazard the rewards his eye-catching cameo deserved. The Belgian only featured for 29 minutes but probably still provided the stellar impact of the afternoon. As it is, having clawed their way level and missed too many opportunities for comfort in a madcap opening period, Arsenal have lost their opening two topflight fixtures for the first Continue reading "Marcos Alonso strikes late as Chelsea beat Arsenal in five-goal thriller"

Why Lucas Torreira should start against Chelsea

  Lucas Torreira should start against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in place of Matteo Guendouzi as the dogged Uruguayan international will patrol the centre of the park relentlessly for the Gunners and act as platform for the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil to flex their creative dexterity, whilst disrupting Jorginho and N’Golo Kante’s […]

Eden Hazard can become best in the world, says Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri

• Manager intent on holding on to Belgian playmaker
• ‘I feared losing him for 20 days,’ says Italian Maurizio Sarri believes Eden Hazard has the ability to establish himself as the best player in the world but has admitted he feared losing the Belgium forward in the three weeks after taking charge as Chelsea’s manager. Hazard, who came off the bench to set up the final goal in the 3-0 opening weekend win at Huddersfield, is expected to start against Arsenal on Saturday as Sarri oversees his first competitive fixture at Stamford Bridge. Continue reading...

Chelsea v Arsenal: match preview

Maurizio Sarri and Unai Emery are still feeling their way into a new league. Yet this derby may provide a far better gauge of their capabilities than Chelsea’s walkover at Huddersfield, or Arsenal’s toils against Manchester City. Sarri, who is considering offering Eden Hazard a first start, believes his opponents “will be competitive” under Emery this season in the pursuit of a place in the Champions League. Lucas Torreira may start for the visitors, who may need the Uruguayan’s steel in the centre. Dominic Fifield Saturday 5.30pm BT Sport 1 Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Chelsea and Arsenal promise goals and flaws, Fulham need to tighten up at Spurs and will sparks fly again when Benítez meets Warnock? With two teams in flux, Chelsea’s derby with Arsenal is a meeting that promises goals. Both sides are vulnerable in defence and dangerous in attack. Although beaten comfortably in the end, Huddersfield exposed Chelsea’s weakness to attacks down the wings last week and Arsenal may aim to do likewise, while David Luiz, in particular, will likely struggle to keep up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the middle. But Chelsea’s midfield thrusters – who could include Eden Hazard from the start as well as N’Golo Kanté in all-new Roving Mode – could wreak havoc at the other end, especially if certain Arsenal midfielders remain dozy when it comes to defensive duties. That is something Unai Emery needs to change and he could start by picking Lucas Torreira instead Continue reading "Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend"

Chelsea to make new technical director a priority when window shuts

• Club finally switch focus to replacing Michael Emenalo
• Dan Ashworth, Monchi and Michael Ballack among targetsChelsea finally hope to make progress on the appointment of a new technical director to succeed the departed Michael Emenalo once the transfer window closes across Europe at the end of the month. Emenalo left his position last November and subsequently took up a similar role at Monaco in Ligue 1, with the director Marina Granovskaia taking on his major responsibilities at Stamford Bridge. She has overseen the club’s incoming and outgoing transfers in the two windows since, including sanctioning the latest wave of loan departures this summer, with the search for a permanent successor put on hold. Continue reading...

Kepa Arrizabalaga and Alisson show youth beats experience for keepers | Paul Wilson

The old-fashioned assumption that keepers can go on forever appears to be drawing to a closeA debate is still raging over whether the spectacular late winner Wayne Rooney created to help DC United beat Orlando City on Sunday was a highlight of the MLS season or a confirmation of limited standards across the pond, though looked at another way it could be seen as a terrific advertisement for Premier League football. Rooney, lest it ever be forgotten, spent his last couple of English seasons chugging around for little return, frequently inviting the comment he had lost his pace and had grown old before his time. Now he finds himself rejuvenated, looking like a giant among pygmies or the seasoned professional who joins the neighbourhood kids for a kickabout in the park. Continue reading...

Ruben Loftus-Cheek to reject Schalke loan to fight for Chelsea midfield spot

• German club want England international to replace Max Meyer
• Milan sign Tiémoué Bakayoko on season loan from ChelseaRuben Loftus-Cheek is set to reject the chance to move to the Bundesliga club Schalke on a season-long loan, with the midfielder determined to force his way into the Chelsea first-team. The England player, so impressive on his one-year stay at Crystal Palace last term, made a point of returning early to Cobham for pre-season training after his World Cup exertions in order to impress the new head coach, Maurizio Sarri. Loftus-Cheek determined in Russia that, having earned eight caps over the past 10 months, he would fight for a place at Chelsea in the new campaign. Continue reading...