Graham Potter has been announced as the brand new Chelsea head coach, joining from Brighton on a five-year deal. The Englishman spent just over three years on the south coast, guiding the Seagulls to their best-ever Premier League finish while implementing an attractive style of play.
Todd Boehly will certainly be hoping he can replicate that at Stamford Bridge, having made the decision to dismiss Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday. The German coach may feel aggrieved for losing his position despite his poor start to the season, having won three trophies and guided the side to six cup finals.
However, a change of direction was decided upon as Boehly looks to move to club towards a long-term project with a new man at the helm. This was seen, in part, with the transfer strategy as the Blues looked to add promising youngsters into the ranks.
The switch for Potter should see that strategy put into place now, having been handed a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge. Branded an “innovator” by the Chelsea board, the 47-year-old will have to bring his tactical astuteness to the club along with everything else he implemented at Brighton.
One thing he would often do is show flexibility in his plans, something he could do in a reunion with Marc Cucurella. The Spanish defender played for Potter in his time at Brighton and was used at left-back, left-wing-back and left-centre-back, areas he has already played for Chelsea since signing.
When asked about his role earlier last season, he said: “He’s [Marc Cucurella] a left back who pushes up but in that game [Manchester United] was the lateral centre back in a back three, attacking. Chris Wilder used to do it at Sheffield United.
“Nothing in football is original. I thought Marc could play that role well when you look at his attributes. He could defend well in the wide areas, defend well as a midfielder and is comfortable enough on the ball to build up and attack late. So, you look at the opponent and go, OK maybe we can use this idea.”
That’s the sort of flexibility that could come in handy for Chelsea in both managerial profile and squad profile going forward, if he is to be a success at the club.