Chelsea chiefs' Enzo Maresca verdict with first words on Mauricio Pochettino replacement

Former Manchester City academy boss Enzo Maresca
-Credit: (Image: Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images)

Chelsea co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley have hailed Enzo Maresca after the club confirmed the appointment of the Italian as head coach. Following Mauricio Pochettino's exit as Blues boss two days after the culmination of the 2023/24 Premier League campaign, Chelsea have moved swiftly to appoint Maresca in the hotseat on a five-year contract with the club having the option a further 12 months.

Following a playing career that saw him represent clubs such as West Brom, Juventus, Sevilla and Malaga, the 44-year-old turned to coaching and was appointed as Man City's Elite Development Squad manager in August 2020. After a brief stint back in his homeland with Parma, Maresca returned to the Etihad Stadium and became part of Pep Guardiola's first-team assistants.

His second spell in Manchester would only be brief after Leicester City appointed him as manager in June 2023 following their relegation to the Championship. His season with the Foxes turned out to be a memorable one after guiding them to the league title and a Premier League return at the first time of asking.

Subsequently coming to the attention of Chelsea's hierarchy after his fine work at the King Power Stadium, Maresca has been confirmed as Pochettino's long-term successor in the capital. After confirmation finally arrived on Monday, Chelsea chiefs Stewart and Winstanley spoke to the club's official website about why exactly they had turned to Maresca.

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"We are delighted to welcome Enzo to Chelsea. He has proven himself to be an excellent coach capable of delivering impressive results with an exciting and identifiable style," they said.

"Enzo has deeply impressed us in our discussions leading up to his appointment. His ambitions and work ethic align with those of the club. We thoroughly look forward to working with him."

On the appointment of Maresca as boss, Chelsea's ownership group said: "We are thrilled to welcome Enzo into the Chelsea family. We look forward to supporting him and the rest of the sporting team in fulfilling their potential and our expectations over the years to come.

"He is a highly gifted coach and leader that we are confident can help fulfill our vision and competitive goals for the club."