Chelsea in worrying U-turn as Todd Boehly and co spark concern at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly could be about to U-turn on the appointment of a new manager (Image: GETTY)

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly could be about to U-turn on the appointment of a new manager, with the American now said to be considering former Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi as Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement.

The Blues and Pochettino parted ways on Tuesday after the Argentine had overseen a revival on the pitch over the second half of the campaign.

Chelsea appointed Pochettino as their manager at the end of last May, with the former Tottenham boss beating a whole host of candidates to the top job.

One man who was linked to the vacancy was De Zerbi, who at that stage was receiving plaudits following a fine maiden campaign at the AMEX Stadium. But according to The Athletic, at the time, Chelsea didn’t consider the Italian a serious option as his profile wasn’t what they were seeking.

De Zerbi instead stayed on the south coast and enjoyed a fine start to the 2023/24 season as the Seagulls won five of their opening six Premier League games, a run that included 3-1 victories over Newcastle and Manchester United as well as 4-1 wins against Luton and Wolves.

But Brighton’s form soon fell off a cliff as the team won just three of their next 16 top-flight matches. And the south coast side then recorded just one win in their final 10 league clashes, with De Zerbi heading through the AMEX exit following the Seagulls’ 2-0 defeat to Man United on the final day of the season.

Ex-Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi is reportedly in the running to take over as Chelsea manager (Image: GETTY)

Since Chelsea decided they weren’t keen on appointing De Zerbi, he has taken charge of 62 Brighton matches, winning 23 of them and losing 24.

So with such an unexceptional run of results to his name, it’s surprising that Boehly has now changed his mind on the 44-year-old.

De Zerbi may have led Brighton to a sixth-place finish during the 2022/23 season, but the team were only able to secure an 11th-place position in the most recent campaign and won just 12 matches in the top-flight.

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That’s hardly progress for De Zerbi. And if 2019 Champions League finalist Pochettino wasn’t the right man for the Chelsea job after guiding the Blues to Europa League qualification as well as appearances in the Carabao Cup final and the FA Cup semi-finals, then De Zerbi will struggle to provide evidence that he is the person to bring success to Stamford Bridge.

According to the Daily Mail, De Zerbi is the fourth candidate on Chelsea’s manager shortlist, with Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna, Leicester’s Enzo Maresca and Brentford’s Thomas Frank also in the running.

And if Boehly opts for De Zerbi, it could raise serious questions about the overall strategy of the businessman and his peers in the Stamford Bridge boardroom.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1903822/Chelsea-Todd-Boehly-Roberto-De-Zerbi