Graham Potter: Key reason why Man Utd twice swerved moving for new Chelsea manager emerges

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Graham Potter greeting Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka Credit: PA Images
Graham Potter greeting Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka Credit: PA Images

Manchester United were twice encouraged to appoint Graham Potter as their manager, though why they swerved the new Chelsea boss has been revealed.

Chelsea wasted little time in replacing Thomas Tuchel with Graham Potter in Stamford Bridge dugout. Tuchel paid the price for a slow start to the season, though that was by no means the only reason the German was axed.

The Telegraph suggested a rift had formed between Tuchel and part-owner Todd Boehly over transfers, including a potential move for Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Guardian later reported a similar disagreement formed over the future of West Ham target, Armando Broja.

Tuchel’s dismissal was confirmed on Wednesday morning and by Thursday afternoon, Potter was in place.

Brighton will reportedly receive £20m in compensation for losing Potter along with members of his coaching staff. A five-year deal has been signed and four demands the Englishman made before joining Chelsea were recently revealed.

All eyes will be on how Potter fares in what is an enormous step up on paper. He now has a far bigger budget to play with than he’s been afforded in the past. He’s also joining a club where a single trophy-less season can result in the sack.

One thing missing for United

Potter will also get his first taste of Champions League football with the Blues. According to the Athletic, his lack of UCL experience is the primary reason why Manchester United snubbed the chance to move for Potter on two occasions in the past.

They claim United were twice ‘encouraged’ to appoint Potter – once after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked and again while searching for a permanent successor to Ralf Rangnick.

However, the Red Devils hierarchy turned their nose up at Potter, ‘declining to hold meaningful conversations’ with the 47-year-old.

His lack of UCL experience is explicitly stated as the reason why United took that stance.

That will raise eyebrows in some quarters given United aren’t even in the Champions League this season, though they’ll be hopeful Erik ten Hag can change that situation next year.

Will Graham Potter succeed at Chelsea?

Potter is widely regarded as one of the most promising British managers these shores have produced in recent memory.

He has been lauded for turning average players into good players and good players into great ones. Indeed, without his coaching it stands to reason Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella may never have earned moves to Champions League clubs.

He’s known as a forward thinking and progressive manager and was viewed by many as a future successor to Gareth Southgate for the Three Lions. Todd Boehly and co. will be hoping that doesn’t come true any time soon.

The risks of joining Chelsea are there for all to see. They are famed for being trigger happy with their managers and the new ownership took less than 100 days to axe Tuchel.

However, Potter is their man and logic would dictate he’ll be given a longer leash than Tuchel who was a holdover from the Roman Abramovich era.

What’s more, he has an incredible squad to work with that has been boosted by the addition of £254m worth of players this summer.

His lack of top level experience aside, there are very few reasons why Potter should not succeed at Chelsea.

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