Chelsea might face a mass exodus of star players like Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante if Maurizio Sarri fails to play them in their best roles, according to Mario Melchiot.
The series of embarrassing defeats which culminated in the FA Cup exit to United has brought Italian manager Sarri under intense scrutiny.
Melchiot, who spent five years at Stamford Bridge between 1999 and 2004, is concerned that Sarri isn’t playing two of his key players in their best roles and that, as a result, they could consider leaving the club.
“If you play players out of their position, you’re taking away their happiness and when their happiness goes, players are going to start looking at somewhere else,” he told talkSPORT.
“Kante is happy doing the job he’s good at, but now Sarri is making him go forward.
“His strength is breaking up play and winning the ball back, and that allows other Chelsea players to take more risks because they have that security of Kante being behind them. That security is gone now and if they lose the ball, their opponents come straight at them.
“It’s the same with Hazard – if you want to keep hold of your star players you have to make them feel good about what they’re doing.
“Sarri has started to complain that he dribbles too much with the ball, but what do you want? That’s his ability and there is no player who wants to play against him when he does that.
“If you don’t want him to dribble, if you want him to play one-touch instead, he should not be in your team.”
Up next for Chelsea is the Europa League clash against Malmo on Thursday before facing Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.