Very clear – Enzo Maresca sends strong message to Chelsea fans as new manager

Very clear – Enzo Maresca sends strong message to Chelsea fans as new manager

Chelsea have confirmed the appointment of Enzo Maresca as the club’s new head coach.

The Italian has signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge with the option of a further year and will officially start his new role on 1 July.

‘To join Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any coach. It is why I am so excited by this opportunity,’ the new Blues boss said.

‘I look forward to working with a very talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club’s tradition of success and makes our fans proud.’

Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna initially appeared to be the frontrunner, with Brentford’s Thomas Frank and former Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi also in the mix.

But Maresca impressed Chelsea’s hierarchy during talks and there is a feeling that his heavy focus on possession football is an ideal fit for the squad.

Maresca had a release clause in his contract with Leicester which increased following their promotion back to the Premier League, with Chelsea paying around £10million to prise him away.

The Blues have been keen to bring in a young, dynamic coach who plays modern, progressive football and feel Pep Guardiola disciple Maresca ticks all the necessary boxes.

He guided Leicester to 97 points and the Championship title last season, boasting the best defensive record in the league while also scoring 89 goals – a tally only bettered by Ipswich.

Maresca also overhauled the team’s style of play, advocating a possession-based game which averaged 62 per cent over the course of the season – second only to Southampton.

He has close ties to Guardiola and Manchester City, having been the club’s Elite Development Squad manager in the 2020-21 season.

That earned him a job with Serie B side Parma, though he lasted just 14 games and was sacked having won only four times, and he returned to City in the summer of 2022 as one of Guardiola’s assistants after Juanma Lillo left.

City enjoyed an historic campaign that year, finally winning the Champions League as they completed the treble.

As a result of his time in Manchester, Maresca is already well acquainted with Chelsea’s Player of the Season Cole Palmer as well as injury-plagued midfielder Romeo Lavia, while he also coached Cesare Casadei during his loan at Leicester last season.

Chelsea had a largely underwhelming campaign under Pochettino but put together a run of five straight wins to end the season in sixth place and secure qualification for the Europa Conference League.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *