Chelsea have announced Graham Potter as their new manager, replacing Thomas Tuchel, who was sacked on Wednesday.
Potter, who joins from Brighton & Hove Albion, becomes the 30th manager in Chelsea’s history — the first managerial appointment under new American owner Todd Boehly, who sacked Tuchel after 100 games in charge.
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He joins Chelsea on a five-year deal, with sources telling ESPN that Chelsea have paid a fee in the region of £16 million to release him from his Brighton contract.
“I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club,” Potter told the club’s website on Thursday. “I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.
“I would also like to place my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for allowing me this opportunity and in particular Tony Bloom and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club.”
ESPN reported on Wednesday that former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino and ex-Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane were also initially shortlisted for the role alongside Potter.
Potter, known for his attacking style, helped Brighton to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League last season. The 47-year-old has also enjoyed coaching spells at Swedish side Ostersund, who he guided to an unlikely Europa League group stage berth, and Swansea City.
Chelsea made nine summer signings with a record transfer spend of over £250 million, but the investment has yet to improve results on the pitch, with the club sitting in sixth place in the Premier League after six games.
The club also got off to a slow start in the Champions League group stages, slumping to a 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in their Group E opener on Tuesday.
“We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea. He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the club,” Chelsea owner Boehly added.
“Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful club. He has had a major impact at his previous clubs’ and we look forward to his positive impact at Chelsea. We look forward to supporting him, his coaching team and the squad in realising their full potential in the coming months and years.”
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