Gianfranco Zola slammed Chelsea decision to axe Maurizio Sarri

Gianfranco Zola has claimed that Italian manager Maurizio Sarri would have enjoyed further success at Stamford Bridge if he had been provided with more time by Roman Abramovich.

Despite a season which saw the Blues to claim the Europa League title and achieve third place in the Premier League, both Sarri and club officials came to a mutual agreement regarding his departure from Stamford Bridge after being there only 11 months.

However, Zola, who was Sarri’s assistant coach at the West Lonon club, feels that the Blues could only have benefitted from keeping the 60-year-old manager at the club spending at least another season with him.

The former Chelsea midfielder told talkSPORT: “I think the best of Maurizio’s work comes not in the first year but more from the second year onwards.

“Looking at the way he works, it takes a little bit of time to put in place what he wants to do and also he is very demanding on the players, but, after the players get used to it, they get better and better and the work becomes more effective.

“It’s a pity, because I think it would have been good for the club if Maurizio stayed and it would have been good for Maurizio as well.”

Sarri – now has been named as Juventus manager and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has made a return to Stamford Bridge and he has made his managerial debut for the Blues in a pre-season game against Bohemians that ended a 1-1 draw.