Advertisement

Enzo Maresca has already shown he can complete Chelsea top priority as first task clear

Enzo Maresca celebrates victory following the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Leicester City at Deepdale.
-Credit: (Image: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)


Enzo Maresca will have a long to-do list following his appointment at Chelsea. The Italian has left Leicester City and signed a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge with the option of a further 12 months.

Some tasks will be higher up his list than others as he looks to get to work ahead of the 2024/25 campaign. There were some reports over the weekend that Maresca may have to lift the mood within the Chelsea squad and win over some players, who were said to have been perfectly happy working under Mauricio Pochettino.

The form of the team towards the end of the season just gone suggested that the players were all on board with Pochettino’s ideas that were starting to get results. There will therefore be no surprise if some members of the squad are not happy with the decision to let him go.

Maresca’s first priority will, therefore, be winning over the players who may be a bit sceptical about the managerial change and possibly his appointment. But it is something that he has done before.

The manager took charge of Leicester almost a year ago after the club suffered relegation. He had to pick up a squad low on confidence and lacking direction with players who wanted to move away to play at a higher level.

Speaking back in August, before taking charge of his first competitive game as Leicester boss, Maresca revealed how players who had previously wanted to leave following relegation from the Premier League had changed their minds after just a few weeks of working under the Italian.

READ MORE: Enzo Maresca to Chelsea: Behind the scenes of Eghbali effort, £10m fee and new boss' request

READ MORE: Enzo Maresca 'targeting' star Arsenal scouted ahead of Chelsea arrival

“The only thing I can say is that there are six players, they come to my office to say: ‘My idea was to leave the club in the summer but now I would like to stay because I enjoy the idea and enjoy the day by day,” he said, via LeicestershireLive

“So this is the only thing I can say, that six players, they come to my office and they tell me that. It's a good thing for me. But the guy that goes on the pitch is the player, so they have to be happy. If they are happy with us, I’m happy too.

“But if some of them want to leave, you cannot try to keep some players when their intention is to leave. I’m always saying the same. I told the club this on day one when I met them, that if there are some players that want to leave, allow them to go.

“I don’t want players who don’t want to stay. Because at the end, if they want to stay, they need to be sure 100 per cent.”

The revelation is a good sign for Chelsea when it comes to the task of winning players over and getting everyone pulling in the same direction. Of course, every squad is different, and the situation at Stamford Bridge is slightly different to the one at Leicester, given that the side ended the season on a high with European qualification, but they will be hoping for similar results and a similar buy-in from the Chelsea squad as Maresca had just 12 months ago from the Leicester players.