Who is Enzo Maresca? Chelsea's new head coach

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith
  • 3 Jun 2024 15:14 BST
  • 3 min read
Enzo Maresca, Chelsea, Leicester, 2023/24
© IMAGO

Enzo Maresca has been appointed as the new Chelsea manager, following Mauricio Pochettino’s departure after the conclusion of the 2023-24 Premier League season.

The Italian quickly emerged as Chelsea’s leading candidate, despite competition from the likes of Kieran McKenna and Roberto De Zerbi, and he has become the Blues’ sixth different manager since 2022.

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But, who actually is Maresca and how good is he?

READ MORE: Who is Arne Slot? Liverpool's new coach who made Feyenoord great again

What team does Enzo Maresca manage?

Maresca is currently the manager of Chelsea.

What formation does Enzo Maresca play?

Maresca is a firm favourite of the 4-3-3 formation. However, his in-possession and out-of-possession shapes look dramatically different. His team often defends in a 4-4-2, while they attack in a 3-2-4-1 shape.

READ MORE: Who is Kieran McKenna? The Ipswich boss wanted by Man Utd & Brighton

How good is Enzo Maresca?

Maresca is considered to be one of the most promising young managers in world football and his experience as Pep Guardiola’s assistant at Manchester City has no doubt helped his coaching journey.

The Italian is a stubborn adherent to a possession-based system and criticism has even been levelled at him for his lack of a ‘Plan B.’ Maresca has a footballing philosophy and he isn’t particularly willing to move away from that, regardless of whether his team is struggling in any given match.

However, he was able to implement his style of play immediately at Leicester - an extremely difficult feat to achieve - and it saw the Foxes race into a 19-point lead at the top of the Championship table in February. They subsequently lost seven of their final 14 games and only won the title by a mere point, but Maresca has been heavily praised by those who have worked under him.

In March, Harry Winks even admitted Maresca was the best manager he’d ever worked under, with regards to his tactical insight and his man-management skills.

In terms of his preferred system, Maresca likes to build up with a back three shape in possession, with one full-back tucking inside to become a third centre-back and the other moving into a double pivot in midfield.

This is a tactic that has become vastly popular in the English game in recent years, and Maresca believes it neutralises the threat his team faces when they lose possession.

The ex-Man City assistant values a possession-heavy style and this system helped Leicester win the Championship title during Maresca’s first full season in senior management.

He may not be an experienced option, but Maresca is highly-talented and his style of play aligns perfectly with how Chelsea’s owners want the Blues to operate.

What trophies has Enzo Maresca won?

Maresca won the Premier League 2 title with Man City U23s (2020-21) and the Championship title with Leicester (2023-24).

Who has Enzo Maresca managed previously?

Before taking over at Chelsea, Maresca was Man City U23 and Leicester manager, while he spent six months as manager of Parma.

The Italian has also been assistant manager at Man City, West Ham, Sevilla and Ascoli.

How old is Enzo Maresca?

Maresca was born on 10 February 1980. He is 44 years old at the time of writing.

Read more about: Premier League, Chelsea, Leicester

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