It’s fair to say things have not gone to plan for Todd Boehly at Chelsea.
Mauricio Pochettino is promising to change all that.
The Premier League club’s new manager officially got down to work on Monday and in his first day in the office gave a glimpse of the ambition that likely convinced Boehly he was the man to turn Chelsea’s fortunes around.
“In the last 10, 12, 15 years, Chelsea is the greatest team in England. I know very well the Premier League and what the culture of Chelsea means,” Pochettino said. “We need to be sure that we bring what the club needs to be at the top because the history of the club is to be at the top.”
Pochettino is already Boehly’s third managerial appointment in what has been chaotic first year of the American businessman’s co-ownership with private investment firm Clearlake Capital.
Champions League-winning manager Thomas Tuchel was fired within weeks of the start of last season and replaced with Graham Potter, who was then shown the door seven months into a five-year contract.
Interim boss Frank Lampard saw out the end of a miserable campaign, which was Chelsea’s worst ever in the Premier League and saw the club fail to qualify for Europe.
All that, despite Boehly and Clearlake overseeing a spectacular transfer spend of around $630 million on new players.
Notably, Pochettino said there would be more arrivals this off-season, following the signings of forwards Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson for a reportedly combined fee of 87 million pounds ($110.4 million).
“It is not closed, the squad, and the club is doing a fantastic job to finish the squad so we have the players here to work with us as soon as possible,” he said. “Together, we are going to be in a perfect situation to work and develop the way we want to apply ourselves on the pitch.”
While Potter had to try to balance a bloated squad on the back of Chelsea’s recruitment drive, Pochettino takes over after a slew of players have already departed.
N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mateo Kovacic, Kai Havertz, Edouard Mendy and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have all gone. They are expected to be followed by Cesar Azpilicueta, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech.
Pochettino is in his first job since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in 2022.
Having been under consideration for the Manchester United job before Erik ten Hag’s appointment, he has had to wait for the right position to become available.
“From the beginning, the owners and sporting directors were very clear about the project and we were very excited to join them in this project,” he said. “The objective is to win because football is about winning. We will have good times, create good relationships, have a nice environment and relationship with people, but the most important thing in the end is to win.”
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