Five potential replacements for Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea

The Hard Tackle takes a look at potential replacements for Mauricio Pochettino, whose future at Chelsea is uncertain given their recent performances.

Todd Boehly has spent a fortune to bolster the Chelsea squad since buying the club ahead of the 2022/23 season. Despite signing a lot of players, the Blues have not been able to improve their situation on the pitch. Their struggles continue, and they could look at yet another managerial change to revive the club next season, with Mauricio Pochettino failing to get the best out of the squad.

After a disappointing 12th-placed finish in the Premier League last season, the Blues decided to bring in Pochettino to lead the club. The former Tottenham Hotspur manager had a proven track record in the English top flight, and the West London club thought of him as the best man for the job.

But, unfortunately, it has not gone according to plan. In his 37 matches in charge, the Blues have won only 18. They have lost 12 matches and played out a draw on seven occasions. Chelsea are currently 11th in the league and according to reports, the only way Pochettino can save his job is if they secure a European football for next season.

The Blues climbing five places, and finishing in the top six looks highly unlikely. However, winning the FA Cup could help their cause. But, with Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United still alive in the race, it will not be easy by any means.

The pressure is increasing on Pochettino, and he could be shown the exit door at the end of the season. Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at five potential managers who can take his place.

Roberto De Zerbi

Upon his arrival at the club, Boehly sacked Thomas Tuchel and replaced him with Graham Potter, who was in charge of Brighton & Hove back then. De Zerbi took charge of the Seagulls after the departure of Potter, and he has turned them into a winning machine.

The Italian manager has played a huge role in the development of some of their young stars who now play for giants in England. Despite those big departures, he has managed to maintain their levels.

While they are not dominating English football, De Zerbi has proven himself as an attack-minded manager who can do wonders with young players with huge potential. Chelsea are a squad full of some of the best young talents out there, and the Italian manager could be an ideal fit for them.

They have considered the idea of appointing him as Pochettino’s replacement, and have been linked with him of late. While Brighton are keen on extending his stay, an offer from a big club like Chelsea might not be easy to turn down. The Blues will have to pay £12 million as compensation to land him from the Seagulls in the summer. But Liverpool and Barcelona might be in the hunt.

Ruben Amorim

Amorim is among the most inexperienced managers on this list, as the 39-year-old only has six years of experience. But, the kind of work he has been doing in the recent past has put him on the radar of some of the biggest clubs that are looking for a new boss, including Barcelona, Liverpool, and Manchester United.

With Jurgen Klopp leaving Liverpool at the end of the season, the Reds are looking for a new boss, and the Sporting CP boss is quite high on their radar. While the Merseyside club are already making moves to have him in their ranks, the Blues could make a late entry.

Amorim is another manager who prefers playing an attacking brand of football where the wide players have a big role. At Chelsea, he will have a lot of talent at his disposal, and he could use those young players to put up a display.

But, because of the lack of experience, there will be doubts on whether he could take control of that dressing room right from the start. Irrespective of that, the Blues could still look to appoint him as Boehly is looking to build a team for the future, and Amorim could be the ideal choice to lead them in the long run.

Thomas Tuchel

Despite winning the Champions League in 2021, Tuchel was sacked by Boehly just months after he took full control of the club. Now, with Pochettino’s future uncertain, the Bayern Munich boss has been linked with a move back to the club.

Reports suggest Tuchel is open to the idea of making a return to the Blues. The 50-year-old will part ways with Bayern Munich at the end of the season. While there is a possibility of him taking a sabbatical, people close to him suggest that he could return as a new manager next season if the right offer arrives.

Chelsea are in a worse situation than they were in while Tuchel was in charge. The Bayern boss knows the club inside out. He helped them win the UEFA Champions League in the most difficult of times, and there might not be a better option available.

Tuchel’s shocking return could be a great move for the club, but the final say will be on Boehly. So, it will be interesting to see if he is ready to make the call and bring him back after having sacked him back in the day over a dispute.

Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso has made quite a name for himself as a manager at Bayer Leverkusen. His team are leading the race for the Bundesliga title, and they are all set to end Bayern Munich’s dominance. They have been unbeaten throughout the season and are one of the most attacking teams in Europe.

Alonso has brought the best out of their young stars, and he has made the entire group click. Leverkusen were never really considered a title contender, but the former Real Madrid midfielder has transformed them into a team that can take down any team.

While Alonso also has been linked with a move back to one of his former clubs (Real Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern Munich), Chelsea could still look to lure him to the club. The Blues need someone who can bring the best out of their young stars, and they want a manager who can transform a squad full of talent into a team that challenges for the title.

Alonso has done it all at Bayer Leverkusen, and there are high chances he could repeat his heroics at the London club. With Chelsea’s project quite similar to the one at Leverkusen, the former Liverpool star could consider taking up the job. Not only will he work with some of the best young stars, but the 42-year-old will have a huge budget to bolster his squad if needed.

Jose Mourinho

The Portuguese tactician recently made a comment which highlighted the fact that Chelsea are not what they used to be, which suggests a return might not be that straightforward. However, there is still an outside possibility of the Special One’s return.

The former Chelsea boss recently parted ways with AS Roma after guiding them to back-to-back European finals, and he is currently waiting for the perfect opportunity to return.

Amid uncertainty around Pochettino’s future at the club, Mourinho has made it clear that he is ready to start work tomorrow if the right offer arrives. The former Real Madrid manager has already had two stints at the West London club, and a third could be on the cards.

While the world of football might consider his tactics outdated, those could still do wonders for them given the kind of squad he will have at his disposal. He transformed a young Los Blancos team into the best counter-attacking team on the planet. Mourinho certainly knows how to bring the best out of young players, but he will certainly need attacking reinforcement if he wants to pull off something similar to what he did in Spain.

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