Chelsea confirm appointment of Enzo Maresca as new head coach

Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca
Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca celebrates promotion during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers at The King Power Stadium on May 04, 2024 in Leicester, England.

Chelsea have confirmed the appointment of Enzo Maresca as the club’s new head coach on a five-year contract with an option for a further year.

Leicester City granted Chelsea permission to speak to the Italian on Tuesday ahead of him succeeding Mauricio Pochettino, who left by mutual consent last week.

It is understood the Foxes will receive around £10m as a compensation package.

Maresca becomes the fourth permanent manager in just over two years since the new ownership group took over from Roman Abramovich. His contract will contain the option of a further one-year extension, a marked contrast to the two-year deal with a one-year option Pochettino was given.

In a statement, Maresca said: “To join Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any coach. It is why I am so excited by this opportunity.

“I look forward to working with a very talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club’s tradition of success and makes our fans proud.”

Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, Chelsea’s co-sporting directors, added: “We are delighted to welcome Enzo to Chelsea. He has proven himself to be an excellent coach capable of delivering impressive results with an exciting and identifiable style.

“Enzo has deeply impressed us in our discussions leading up to his appointment. His ambitions and work ethic align with those of the club. We thoroughly look forward to working with him.”

Chelsea are looking to a longer-term approach following the exits of Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Pochettino. Frank Lampard and Bruno Saltor have also overseen temporary spells in that period.

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna was also considered for the role but Chelsea have opted for Maresca, the man who guided Leicester back to the Premier League as champions with 97 points at the first time of asking in his first full season as a head coach.

That will prompt questions about his readiness for a Big Six appointment, but Chelsea were won over by his emphasis on possession football, which is viewed as being well-suited to the current squad.

The 44-year-old had previously coached Parma in 2021, but that reign lasted just 180 days and he won just four of his 14 matches in charge.

However, his reputation in English football had been burgeoning as Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad coach – where he guided the club’s youngsters to a first-ever Premier League 2 title – and later as part of Pep Guardiola’s backroom staff. He is credited with playing a key role in City’s Treble win in 2023 and has been tipped to become an “extraordinary manager” by Guardiola.

It is that pedigree that has convinced Chelsea to hire him at the end of an intensive recruitment process led by co-owner Behdad Eghbali, with sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart also profiling candidates and playing a key role in the selection process.

Like Mikel Arteta at Arsenal and Ange Postecoglou at Tottenham Hotspur, Maresca’s appointment is another sign of the City Football Group’s far-reaching influence. Chelsea will hope he is able to enjoy a similar impact after two seasons of underachievement at Stamford Bridge.

Pochettino steered the Blues to a League Cup final and an FA Cup semi-final and cemented sixth place in the Premier League with five straight wins at the end of 2023-24 season, but it was not enough to save his job amid disputes with the board over transfer strategy and his coaching set-up. 

Chelsea’s co-owners have made it clear that they expect regular Champions League football but Maresca will have to balance a top four push with the Europa Conference League. 

Want to know more about livetscore check out our article

Post a Comment

Please 🙏 engage and share this content

Previous Post Next Post