Potter was in the dugout for a Champions League draw with RB Salzburg, but the Queen’s funeral and the international break have delayed his start in domestic football.
Chelsea’s new owners were willing to pay £20million to buy Potter out of his Brighton contract and, speaking to his former players, it is easy to understand why.
“For me, he is the special one,” striker Alhaji Gero, who played under Potter at Ostersunds, tells Standard Sport. “When I joined Ostersunds in 2016, I felt that we would achieve something together. He told me that I came here to win: ‘We are winners’.”
During Potter’s seven years in Sweden, minnows Ostersunds enjoyed the greatest period in their history. They earned promotion three times from the fourth division to the top flight, won the Swedish Cup and qualified for the Europa League for the first time.
“It was incredible to go from the start until where we finished,” says midfielder Jamie Hopcutt. “It was the personal touch that stood out for me. He would always ask about my family and he is just a good guy. It was quite a rollercoaster for me as I had so much success and then I had a career-threatening injury when I broke my leg.
“I was still given a new three-year contract by Graham despite the injury and he put me on at the end of the cup final to experience it, what a gesture. It was an unbelievable seven years. I was grateful to work with him for so long. It was tough for us all after he left.”
Since Potter left, Ostersunds have not been the same. He then made an impact at Swansea, despite them missing out on the Championship play-offs in his only season in Wales.
Wayne Routledge was initially put up for sale at Swansea under Potter, but he will forever be grateful for how the manager handled a difficult situation.
“The club was not in the greatest state and they wanted to trim the budget by letting go players on higher wages,” says Routledge. “I was one of those players and so was Nathan Dyer. But he handled the situation very carefully and respectfully.
“It was all credit to him but we ended up staying and he kept us involved to help the younger players. Eventually, the boys were asking why I wasn’t playing. I spoke to the club, I took a clause out of my contract and I was quickly back playing under him in various positions, playing winger and striker.
“He is adept at moving players around to help the team, as he did with Raheem Sterling against RB Salzburg. You might not think it helps you straight away but he might see something that will help the team in the longer term.”
That ability to handle unhappy or previously unwanted players is already being tested at Chelsea, with Potter sitting down to meet each player in his first three weeks in the job.
His man-management ability, helped by a master’s degree on leadership and emotional intelligence, is backed up by the tactical flexibility shown throughout his career.
“We played Manchester City in the FA Cup,” recalls Routledge. “It was a true David v Goliath match. They are full of world-class players and he said we have a big game at home and, ‘How do you want to die? How do you want to play the game? Do you want to sit in a 4-5-1 and hope to keep them out or do you want to show them you can hurt them and play football?’ The decision was made to play our game. He involved us in the decision.
“We scored a couple of great goals and we were unlucky to lose, but we showed people what we were capable of. For a team in the Championship against Manchester City, at the time that was unheard of, he showed then that he thought differently of the game.”
Potter’s personal touch also left a mark on former Ostersunds striker Frank Arhin.
“I came in very raw but I learned so much from him,” Arhin says. “He hates losing, is very competitive and he is very clear with his information. His ideas are well-structured and easy to understand. As a team, we were like blood brothers and he was part of it and not better than any of us. We had this culture show and he got involved in everything we do.”
For that now well-documented end-of-year culture show in Sweden, Potter made his players perform the ballet Swan Lake and got his assistant Billy Reid to rap.
At Swansea, Brighton and now Chelsea, his methods have been more conventional. He is ready to work with world-class players at Stamford Bridge and, ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Selhurst Park, has been boosted by the return to training of N’Golo Kante.
During their search for the manager to lead a new era at Chelsea, co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali were seduced by stories of Potter.
Now, as he embarks on his new project, they hope he is worth the five-year, £12m-a-year deal that underlines the faith they have put in him.