After months and months of speculation, Mauricio Pochettino is finally through the door at Chelsea, becoming the club’s new head coach on a two-year deal with the option of a further 12 months.
The Argentine’s appointment brings to an end a truly awful interim spell under Frank Lampard, who jumped into the caretaker manager’s chair after Graham Potter followed Thomas Tuchel out of the exit door.
Chelsea finished a lowly 12th in the Premier League, some 30 points worse off than last season, and scored a paltry 38 goals.
So how will Chelsea line-up under Pochettino? Who will the club sign in the summer? Who will the club sell in the summer?
How Chelsea could line up under Mauricio Pochettino
Victor Osimhen could be just what Chelsea and Pochettino need up front / Marco Mantovani/GettyImages
GK: Andre Onana – With Chelsea’s hierarchy keen to move on one of Edouard Mendy or Kepa Arrizabalaga, it’s more than likely that Poch will get a new goalkeeper joining his ranks. Diogo Costa is the best goalkeeper who currently isn’t playing in one of Europe’s elite leagues, but his sky-high asking price could see Inter’s Andre Onana become the preferred option – the Champions League finalists need cash, and fast.
RB – Reece James – It’s been an up-and-down season for Reece James, but on his day he’s one of the very best right-backs in the world. Remember who Kyle Walker first flourished under at Spurs? Yeah, you guessed it.
CB – Thiago Silva – One of the few bright sparks towards the end of the 2022/23 season was regular minutes for Wesley Fofana, who will almost certainly be the future of the club’s backline. But with Thiago Silva, aged 38, scooping the club’s player of the season award and still operating at a high level, can Poch really afford to look past his leadership?
CB: Levi Colwill – One of the major beneficaries of Pochettino’s appointment could be Colwill, who has flourished under Roberto De Zerbi’s management at Brighton. A young, progressive ball-playing defender, he looks to have all the attributes to go to the very top, and crucially offers balance to the backline as he’s left footed.
LB – Ben Chilwell – Like James on the opposite flank, Chelsea fans can expect Chilwell’s performance to improve ten-fold with Poch as manager.
CM – N’Golo Kante – The Frenchman has been injured for 90% of the time over the last few seasons, yet he’s still not really been replaced. If Kante can stay fit (and that’s a big ‘if’), he could be crucial to how Pochettino’s Chelsea will play, particularly as the players get used to their new methods.
CM – Enzo Fernandez – We haven’t seen the best of the British record signing just yet and that’s purely because Chelsea have been an utter mess. One can expect much, much better performances from Enzo once a clear tactical plan is in place at Stamford Bridge.
RM: Raheem Sterling – Joining from Manchester City for £50m last summer, big things were expected from Sterling at Stamford Bridge. Needless to say, his, and many others, season’s fell well below the expected standards. Nonetheless, there’s too much of an x-factor on offer from the 28-year-old for Poch to extract the most out of.
AM – Christopher Nkunku – You forgot he was coming to Chelsea, didn’t you? Don’t worry, everyone did. And yet, he may just be the perfect Son Heung-min style player that could thrive under Poch, either centrally or in the wide areas.
LM – Mykhailo Mudryk – The Ukrainian cost an absolute fortune but is yet to really show if he’s got the talent to make it at Chelsea. If there’s one manager who will give him a chance, providing he puts in the work, it’s Poch. Could be a dream appointment for Mudryk.
ST – Victor Osimhen – Chelsea need a striker desperately and there’s few better strikers in world football than Victor Osimhen. If Chelsea want to compete, they need a player of the Nigerian’s calibre leading the line. Either that or reinvigorate one of Kai Havertz or Romelu Lukaku.