8 potential replacements for Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea

Chelsea are back on the hunt for a new manager after parting ways with Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentine leaves Chelsea after just 11 months in charge, having led the team back to European football and won over a large number of his critics. Just one normal day of Chelsea, that’s all we’re asking for.

While Chelsea fans wait for Cesc Fabregas to complete his coaching badges and become Mikel Arteta 2.0, here are eight potential targets to replace Mauricio Pochettino.

Sebastian HoenessSebastian Hoeness

Hoeness is on the radar / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

Bayer Leverkusen’s dominance of the Bundesliga overshadowed the ridiculous job done by Sebastian Hoeness at Stuttgart this season.

The 42-year-old, in his first full season with the club, led Stuttgart from the relegation play-off up to second in the standings, ahead of Bayern Munich and behind only the unstoppable force that was Xabi Alonso. If you can lead a team above Bayern, you’ve done something right.

He’s just four years into his management career and has caught the eye with a mixture of three-man and four-man defences, with this season’s tactics yielding 28 goals for Serhou Guirassy and 18 for Deniz Undav.

Hoeness has publicly insisted he does not want to leave Stuttgart in the face of interest from Bayern Munich, but a project outside Germany may draw a different response.

Kieran McKennaKieran McKenna

McKenna’s rise has been rapid / Stephen Pond/GettyImages

Kieran McKenna, the man a number of Manchester United players felt was more hinderance than help during his time at the club, has just completed one of the most ridiculous feats in English football.

Having led Ipswich Town to promotion from League One in 2022/23, McKenna inspired yet another promotion 12 months later and has led the Tractor Boys to the Premier League, snatching the final automatic promotion spot away from heavy-hitters like Southampton and Leeds United.

McKenna has been linked with a return to United, where he worked under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but Chelsea are known to have been impressed with his accomplishments as well – and rightly so.

There’s already a connection with Chelsea through loanee Omari Hutchinson, who returned to Cobham this week after bagging ten goals to aid Ipswich’s promotion quest.

Vincent KompanyVincent Kompany

Kompany was relegated with Burnley / Catherine Ivill – AMA/GettyImages

Yes, Vincent Kompany just got relegated with Burnley. We know that. However, just look past that for one second.

Kompany made Chelsea’s final shortlist before Pochettino was hired after his dazzling season in the Championship with Burnley, where he proved he could play some outrageous football with a team blessed with more talent than most of the division.

Things obviously went sour when Burnley stopped being the big fish in the small pond, but Chelsea’s owners may still be intrigued by the idea of giving Kompany another chance to run things at a team who should be towards the top of the table again next year.

Bayern Munich are sniffing around Kompany, so Chelsea may have to act soon if they want to get this one done.

Miguel Angel Sanchez 'Michel'Miguel Angel Sanchez 'Michel'

Michel has impressed in La Liga / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

For a large part of the La Liga season, it seemed like Girona could actually win the title, and that was down to Michel.

Girona were promoted to La Liga ahead of the 2022/23 season and, after finishing tenth in their first year back in the top flight, exploded this time around and caused major scares to the Clasico big boys before their momentum ultimately ran out.

The team had no right to be as good as they were this year, and many have been quick to attribute their success to Michel who, like many on this list, is happy to tweak his formations in the face of different challenges.

Financially, Girona would have no chance of competing with an offer from Chelsea, so this could be a pretty simple deal to get done if Michel is interested.

Thomas TuchelThomas Tuchel

Could a reunion be on the cards? / Stefan Matzke – sampics/GettyImages

Could Chelsea’s owners go full circle and extend an offer to Thomas Tuchel?

Sure, he doesn’t fit the “young, progressive” narrative, but what Tuchel does have is an unimaginably strong bond with the Chelsea fans, which is the sort of thing the owners should be all over as they lead the club through the latest passage of turbulence.

Tuchel’s stock has been on a rollercoaster this season but he just about salvaged his reputation with a strong showing in the Champions League with Bayern Munich, who were happy to run back to him with their tails between their legs when they realised they couldn’t find a better option. Sound familiar?

Reports in Germany suggest Tuchel would be keen on a reunion, but the Man Utd job is also believed to be of interest.

Roberto De ZerbiRoberto De Zerbi

De Zerbi is available after leaving Brighton / Charlie Crowhurst/GettyImages

Roberto De Zerbi is now available (for free) after leaving Brighton & Hove Albion this summer.

The Italian took English football by storm and seemed destined for a huge job this summer before his Brighton side imploded and ended the season down in 11th, but the memories of what he can do are just about still there to see.

In a summer which has plenty of top sides looking for new managers, De Zerbi will have no shortage of offers, but Chelsea’s owners have to figure out whether he’s the right man for their project.

They’ve evidently loved everything Brighton have touched in the last decade or so, but whether that adoration extends to the manager remains to be seen.

Ruben AmorimRuben Amorim

Amorim has admirers across Europe / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

It seems as though Ruben Amorim has been on the verge of a massive move for the last two years or so, but for whatever reason, things keep falling through.

Chelsea looked at the Sporting CP boss last season but declined to advance things, so there’s clearly a hesitation in the Stamford Bridge boardroom, but his title-winning season may just have helped change their minds.

To sweeten the deal, any side that hires Amorim this summer likely snaps up striker Viktor Gyokeres as well. The Swede’s agent has already confirmed they only joined Sporting to work with Amorim, so there’s a good chance he’d be up for a reunion somewhere else.

His contract includes a €20m release clause and, unfortunately, Chelsea would not qualify for the €10m discount as they failed to reach the Champions League.

Sérgio ConceiçãoSérgio Conceição

Conceicao has been linked with a number of top sides / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

Sticking in Portugal, Chelsea may be tempted to pick up the phone and call Sergio Conceicao, who has three league titles with Porto to his name.

Conceicao, 49, has been linked with Barcelona as the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Xavi’s future continues. Tactically, it would be a big shift from the Catalan side, and Chelsea’s owners have to decide whether they’re up for a go at his 4-4-2 setup.

He’s already the second-most successful manager in the history of Portuguese football and may be tempted by the idea of a new challenge, even if he does still have four years left on his contract.

A switch to the Premier League interested Conceicao before he joined Porto – he nearly replaced Claudio Ranieri at Leicester in 2017 – and Chelsea may hope he still had that desire.


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