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The four Chelsea players set to benefit most from Enzo Maresca appointment as deal edges closer

Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca
-Credit: (Image: Daniel Chesterson/Offside)


Going into his debut season with Leicester City, it would be fair to have said Enzo Maresca was an unknown quantity to many.

"At the beginning, the target is to play in the best way we can," Maresca said following his appointment at the King Power Stadium. "From there, we can build, day by day, our idea and our philosophy, and the most important thing is to try and win games.

"First of all, we're going to give 100 per cent, absolutely, because the club deserves this. It's our job, our duty to do that. Then, as I said, day by day, step by step, absolutely we're going to improve."

Arriving at Leicester, the Italian left Manchester City where he was part of Pep Guardiola's coaching staff. Maresca was part of the backroom staff that led City to a treble-winning 2022/23 campaign, where the Manchester-based club won the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

Prior to his time at the Etihad Stadium, Maresca had managed just once during a brief and unsuccessful spell with Parma. Now, though, as talks continue with Chelsea over a five-year contract to become Mauricio Pochettino's successor at Stamford Bridge, the 44-year-old is viewed as one of Europe's brightest prospects in the coaching department.

The Chelsea hierarchy are determined to appoint someone that can bring an attractive style of football, based on possession, to Stamford Bridge. Maresca is seen as that man entirely and after initial conversations with the Italian, the Blues' board were said to be eager to get the deal done as quickly as possible.

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However, it was not just as simple as keeping the ball for the sake of it for Maresca at Leicester. Over other areas of the pitch, some of the Foxes' players really shone last season for Maresca.

Stephy Mavididi and Abdul Fatawu had the most one-on-one duels in the entirety of the Championship throughout the 2023/24 season. Mavididi topped the list with 447 duels, with Fatawu not too far behind on 399.

Playing calm and controlled football, building out from the back - it allowed Leicester a sense of unpredictability and chaos when advancing forward with the ball. Giving possession to either of their wingers and allowing them to express themselves caused Championship defenders problems all season-long.

Maresca is very much a man of principles so the Italian will undoubtedly try and play in a similar style at Stamford Bridge. And he may well have the players to do just that.

Noni Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer are Chelsea's senior winger options at this present moment. The latter of the four, Palmer, is somewhat of a maverick and was allowed to play virtually in a free role under Pochettino; something that seemed to suit the Chelsea Player of the Season down to the ground.

The likes of Madueke, Mudryk and Sterling all have a point to prove at Stamford Bridge next season. Madueke dramatically improved towards the end of the recently-concluded campaign but there feels like there is so much more to come from the 22-year-old as he enters his third season with the club.

Mudryk, meanwhile, once again showed flashes of his talent but was unable to do that on a regular basis. With Maresca's style of play, though, that allows wingers to express themselves in attacking situations, it could really benefit the Ukraine international.

And it is a similar case with Sterling. The 29-year-old fell out of favour towards the end with Pochettino, albeit he featured plenty more in the final few matches of the season.

There is plenty to be excited about when it comes to Maresca taking over at Chelsea. Perhaps nothing more so than the impact he could have on Chelsea's wide attacking players.