Graham Potter sack latest: Chelsea identify new manager target who’d add insult to injury for struggling boss
Despite maintaining their faith in Graham Potter, Chelsea are now being linked with another manager in case they do give him the sack.
Potter earned the biggest job of his managerial career so far when he replaced Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea back in September. However, he hasn’t done as well as expected at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have won just one of their most recent 11 matches under Potter.
Currently, they are on a run of six games without a win. In five of those matches, they have failed to score. They even lost to the Premier League’s bottom side, Southampton, and suffered a defeat in the first leg of their Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund.
Already out of the FA Cup, things aren’t looking good for Chelsea, who are 10th in the Premier League. They are 14 points adrift of a top-four place at present.
Therefore, many have been questioning whether Potter is indeed the right man for the job. TEAMtalk has been told that Chelsea still have a long-term plan with the former Brighton manager. However, some sources are now suggesting the end could be nigh for him.
Chelsea’s next two games have been cited as the ones that will determine Potter’s immediate fate. They will host another struggling side, Leeds United, at the weekend, before the second leg of their Borussia Dortmund match in the Champions League.
If Potter cannot inspire a turnaround in fortunes, the spotlight will be on him once more. But if Potter does get the sack, where would Chelsea go next?
There have been some rumours about a third spell for Jose Mourinho, starting from next season. Other candidates to take the job may include Mauricio Pochettino, Zinedine Zidane or Thomas Frank.
Graham Potter sack could lead to Roberto De Zerbi repetition
But according to Football Insider, one of the latest contenders to succeed Potter is none other than Roberto De Zerbi.
Ironically, De Zerbi replaced Potter at Brighton in September after the Englishman left for Chelsea. As if to emphasise the pressure on Potter, De Zerbi has maintained the Seagulls’ form and they are above the Blues in the table.
Given how well he has done in his first Premier League job, De Zerbi has earned admirers at bigger clubs. Some back in his native Italy are keeping tabs on him; there is also a chance he could replace his compatriot Antonio Conte at Tottenham Hotspur.
But Football Insider relays that he could be an option for Chelsea as well. In fact, not only are the club impressed by him, but the 43-year-old would be open to taking that next step.
The way he has adapted to the Premier League, with an exciting brand of football, and his ability to develop youngsters, are seen as appealing aspects of his managerial skillset.
Brighton have De Zerbi under contract until 2026. Consequently, they would be due compensation if Chelsea – or anyone else – were to prise him away.
Seeing his job taken by De Zerbi for the second time within a matter of months would add insult to injury for Potter. But football can be a ruthless business at times.
The former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss has steadily been progressing his career upwards. He seemingly has the potential to guide a top-level club.
But Potter was making similar progress and hasn’t lived up to expectations. Therefore, any appointment would carry an element of risk.
For now, Chelsea’s current boss must stay focused on improving their results. But he might well be looking over his shoulder soon.
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