According to recent reports, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri is ready to take the Chelsea job in the summer. Who is Allegri and can he be the man to get the Blues back to being title contenders next season?
The 48-year-old Italian has been linked with the Chelsea job for a number of weeks now. The Juve boss has had a very successful managerial career in Italy, winning Serie A with both AC Milan and Juventus, and taking the Old Lady to the Champions League final last year.
His team are currently second in the Serie A table, two points off leaders Napoli with 14 games to go. Juventus have lost just four league games all season, and they are currently on a staggering 12-game winning run. In fact, Allegri’s troops have won 18 of their 20 matches in all competitions.
During his playing days, Allegri played for a whole host of clubs, all Italian teams, before taking the plunge into management with Aglianese in 2003. He has never played or managed outside of his native country, so a move to England will no doubt be a huge step for him.
So is Massimiliano Allegri the right choice for Chelsea?
The Juventus manager certainly has enough experience in the game, albeit in Italian football. But he showed last year with his side’s performances in the Champions League that his team can mix it with Europe’s big boys. Bianconeri won the league by an astounding 17 points last season, they also won the Coppa Italia.
In recent years, Chelsea have played pretty safe with their managerial appointments. They went close to home by reappointing Jose Mourinho in 2013, and they have used the tried and trusted Guus Hiddink to steady the flailing ship for the end of this season. Maybe a change in direction and philosophy is just what the doctor ordered at Stamford Bridge?
The fact that Allegri hasn’t played or managed anywhere outside of Italy would no doubt make him a gamble. Nevertheless, like mentioned, his record at AC Milan and Juventus speaks for itself. In just shy of 500 games a manager, the ex-Cagliari and Milan boss has a win percentage of 47.26 per cent.
Disastrous league campaign
Chelsea will want to see the back of what has been a disastrous Premier League campaign this year. Still, they are fighting strong in the FA Cup and the Champions League.
With a fifth round FA Cup tie against Manchester City and a two legged Champions League tie with French giants Paris Saint-Germain on the horizon, the Blues’ season could be all but done and dusted in just under a months time.
If Massimiliano Allegri does indeed end up in charge at Stamford Bridge by the beginning of next season, the Italian has no doubt got his work cut out getting the west Londoners back to their best and firing on all cylinders.
Not the same side
Present-day Chelsea are not the same Chelsea who stormed to the Premier League and League Cup double under Mourinho last season.
There’s a lot of repair work that needs doing at the Bridge, and we will have to wait and see if Allegri is the man tasked and capable of getting that work up and running.