Five possible replacements for Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • Updated: 29 Feb 2024 09:49 GMT
  • 5 min read
Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea, 2023/24

Mauricio Pochettino is under massive pressure at Chelsea and his side's 1-0 loss to Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final has re-sparked rumours that he may be sacked in the near future.

The 51-year-old had helped inspire a mini-revival during a two-week spell around the New Year, but back-to-back defeats against Liverpool and Wolves on 31 January and 4 February left #PochOut trending on social media, and many Blues fans believe he is the main issue at the club right now.

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Chelsea are 11th in the Premier League, they failed to capitalise on Liverpool's injury-hit squad at Wembley and now must beat Leeds United in the FA Cup on Wednesday or Pochettino may be out of a job.

Blues supporters have been vocal in their desire for Pochettino to leave their club over the past few weeks, and the loss against 'Jurgen Klopp's kids,' as Gary Neville described them, has accelerated calls for him to be sacked.

Thiago Silva’s wife has even hinted that she believes Pochettino should no longer be in charge at Stamford Bridge after the loss against Wolves in early February.

The ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain manager admitted he “felt sorry for the fans” after Chelsea’s loss against Wolves, but came as little consolation to a fanbase who have seen their club nosedive to mid-table obscurity over the past 18 months.

Furthermore, his post-match comments after the Carabao Cup final defeat inspired little confidence, with Pochettino hinting that Chelsea were happy to let the game go to penalties despite a brilliant opportunity to win the match in extra-time against an injury-hit Liverpool side.

With Pochettino facing serious questions about his future, who could Chelsea bring in if they decide to sack him?

Ruben Amorim

Ruben Amorim, Sporting CP
© IMAGO - Ruben Amorim, Sporting CP

Ruben Amorim has been tipped for a Premier League job for several seasons, but he hasn’t yet made the leap from Sporting CP. However, he has been named as Pochettino's most likely replacement by many media outlets.

A potential opening at Stamford Bridge could provide Amorim with the perfect chance to finally show his quality in England, and his style may align nicely with the current Blues squad.

Chelsea have attempted to move away from a back five system since Todd Boehly arrived, but Amorim has mostly deployed that formation at Sporting and it could help fix Chelsea’s issues in defence and midfield.

Amorim would be a slightly risky appointment, however Chelsea might need to take a gamble in order to re-find their feet. Furthermore, it's telling that he is currently deemed the first-choice next Chelsea manager if Pochettino is sacked.

He was even on Chelsea's shortlist before Pochettino was appointed last summer.

Julian Nagelsmann

Julian Nagelsmann was appointed as Germany’s national team head coach in 2023, but Chelsea could pursue a move for him once this summer’s European Championship is over.

The Blues would most likely have to wait until the Euros are finished if they want Nagelsmann, however he could be worth the wait.

Nagelsmann performed well at Bayern Munich, despite an unsavoury end to his time at the Allianz Arena, and could be the man to bring success back to Chelsea. But, he has been linked with a sensational return to Bayern amid Thomas Tuchel's imminent exit this summer.

Roberto De Zerbi

Roberto De Zerbi, Brighton
© IMAGO - Roberto De Zerbi, Brighton

Chelsea have attempted to copy Brighton over the past year-and-a-half, and although the appointment of Graham Potter didn’t work out, the Blues may well be keen on bringing in Roberto De Zerbi.

The Italian was linked with the Chelsea job before Pochettino’s arrival last summer and he has performed well at Brighton, despite challenging circumstances this season.

His circuit-driven system may help Chelsea’s struggles in build-up, but Brighton will be very reluctant to lose another key person to the Blues.

Jose Mourinho

This would be a major shock, but stranger things have happened in football.

Jose Mourinho is currently out of work after being sacked by AS Roma in January and he is therefore a legitimate candidate for the Chelsea job if Pochettino leaves.

A small handful of Blues fans began singing Mourinho’s name during the loss to Wolves and although he reportedly isn’t interested in an interim role, a third return to Stamford Bridge could be an appealing one.

His recent managerial jobs don’t suggest that he would be able to improve Chelsea’s fortunes, however.

Hansi Flick

Hansi Flick was spotted in attendance during Chelsea’s 0-0 draw against Fulham in November and could be tempted back into management if the opportunity arose.

He has been out of work since being sacked by the Germany national team after a poor Qatar World Cup, but Flick was amazing during his short stint at Bayern Munich.

He may not be the most obvious candidate, although Flick is an option that Chelsea could turn to in the short-term if they decide Pochettino isn’t the right man for the job.

Read more about: Premier League, Chelsea

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