Lazio Coach Maurizio Sarri: “Lorenzo Insigne Is the Strongest Italian Player”

Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri thought that Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne was the best Italian player in recent years and that Jorginho could be a Ballon d’Or candidate.

Speaking in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sportitalia (via LazioNews24) last night, the 62-year-old Italian coach first spoke about Chelsea and Azzurri midfielder Jorginho.

We’re talking about a refined player who obviously can’t be understood by everyone. He’s so intelligent and good tactically that he makes everything easy.

Ballon d’Or? If Italy were to win the European Championship, he could be one of the candidates.

He revealed that the Italian midfielder was close to signing for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

He was about to sign with City, but thanks to the mediators we managed to bring him to London. After a period of adaptation, he won everyone over. He deserves it.

Sarri gave his thoughts of Juventus forward Paulo Dybala and his future.

He has had so many injuries and has never been 100%. With his technical ability, his recovery can be easy.

His future? Juve either focus on him or they have to sell him.

The 62-year-old Italian coach touched on which younger coach is similar to him.

I’d say De Zerbi. I really like him. He did well to go to Shakhtar because he has international visibility. But I’m surprised that no big Serie A team thought of him.

He remembered a tough discussion he had with Juventus vice-chairman Pavel Nedved.

There was no argument with Nedved. It was just a few discussions. I didn’t like that the team pulled the plug after winning the league.

We had to be at our best and then arrive at our best for the match against Lyon. That was a mistake and I said so.

The former Napoli coach remembered two of his former players, Lorenzo Insigne and Jose Callejon.

Lorenzo Insigne is the strongest Italian player in recent years. Very often he’s not understood and he’s called names.

Callejon is someone who gives a lot of balance and from that point of view he is fundamental.

He also discussed playing Dries Mertens as a striker.

A bit of luck. In Florence we were down to 10 players, I took Higuain off and put Mertens on as a striker. He earned two penalties and did well in those 15 minutes.

I remember, when I told him, he asked me if he could do it, that year he scored 28 goals.

Finally, Sarri spoke about two of his former players at Chelsea, Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante.

Giroud is a great professional.

Kante? He’s a great guy, he’s got speed and quality.

Sarri signed a two-year contract with Lazio, with an option for a third, tying him to the club until at least 2023.

MORE: Lazio Coach Maurizio Sarri: “I’ve Turned Down Other Offers”

MORE: Lazio in Talks to Sign West Ham Winger Felipe Anderson on a Free Transfer

Tags Biancocelesti Chelsea Insigne Italy Jorginho Juventus Lazio Lorenzo Insigne Maurizio Sarri Napoli Sarri Serie A