The Malta Independent 1 October 2023, Sunday
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Chelsea hire Mauricio Pochettino as manager on 2-year deal

Associated Press Monday, 29 May 2023, 14:59 Last update: about 4 months ago

Chelsea hired Mauricio Pochettino as manager on Monday, tasking the Argentine coach with getting the best out of an expensively assembled squad that has underperformed at the start of a new era for the English club.

Pochettino will take up the role on July 1, Chelsea said, after agreeing to a two-year contract, with the club having the option of keeping him on for a further year.

It is Pochettino's first coaching role since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in July last year and marks his return to the Premier League, where he had an impressive 5 1/2-year spell with Tottenham that included a run to the Champions League final.

Pochettino had been widely expected to take the Chelsea job, which is considered one of the most high-profile positions in European soccer.

He is the permanent successor to Graham Potter, who was fired in March after nearly seven months in charge. Frank Lampard has led the team on an interim basis since then and the team finished the Premier League in 12th place.

Chelsea spent around $630 million over the last two transfer windows as the club’s new American ownership — led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital — made a whirlwind start to their reign.

The unprecedented heavy spending hasn’t translated into success, though, with Chelsea amassing its lowest number of points — 44 — during the Premier League era.

Pochettino has been linked with some of the biggest clubs in European soccer since leaving Tottenham in 2019, including Manchester United and Real Madrid.

He won the French title with PSG, but left last year and has been out of work until now.

“Mauricio’s experience, standards of excellence, leadership qualities and character will serve Chelsea well as we move forward,” Chelsea sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said in a statement. “He is a winning coach, who has worked at the highest levels, in multiple leagues and languages. His ethos, tactical approach and commitment to development all made him the exceptional candidate.”

Chelsea described Pochettino as a coach who is "renowned for his sides’ high-energy and eye-catching style.

“He has built a reputation for helping young players realize their full potential within a strong squad ethos,” the club said.

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