Thursday, June 13News That Matters

Hargreaves predicts where Chelsea will finish next season under Pochettino

Owen Hargreaves expects Chelsea to return into the top-four of the Premier League next campaign after Mauricio Pochettino’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea confirmed on Monday that Pochettino had signed a two-year deal with the club, with an option of another year.

The former Tottenham, Paris-Saint Germain and Southampton manager will start his new role on July 1 and takes over a team who finished 12th in the Premier League this campaign.

That represented Chelsea’s worst display for more than 25 years but Hargreaves does not expect a repeat next season and has described Pochettino as an ‘amazing fit’ for the club.

‘It’s a great appointment, a brilliant appointment,’ the former England midfielder said on Optus Sport.

‘I respect Graham Potter for taking that job and testing himself at the top level, but it was a terrible fit for him and a terrible fit for Chelsea.

‘I think Poch will be an amazing fit for them and I think they’ll be a top-four side again next season.

‘They’ve got a lot of the pieces of the puzzle to sort out, a lot of sporting directors to help figure it out. They’ve got to sell a lot of players.

‘But Poch will have a clear identity of how he wants to play and they’ve got some fabulous players.

‘Sort the centre-forward position out, possibly sign a new goalkeeper – a new spine really – and I think Chelsea will be right there again next season.’

Pochettino is Chelsea’s sixth permanent manager in five years and returns to the Premier League after the sacking of Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter this campaign.

Frank Lampard was in temporary charge of the West London club for the last two months of the campaign but oversaw just one win in 11 matches.

Following Pochettino’s confirmation, Chelsea sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Lawrence Stewart said: ‘Mauricio’s experience, standards of excellence, leadership qualities and character will serve Chelsea Football Club well as we move forward.

‘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 finished in the bottom-half of the Premier League despite new co-owner Todd Boehly spending more than £600m on new signings over the past one year.

In a joint-statement, Chelsea’s owners said: ‘We are delighted that Mauricio will be joining Chelsea. Mauricio is a world-class coach with an outstanding track record. We are all looking forward to having him on board.’


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