Football Soccer Chelsea name Maresca as new coach
Football Soccer Chelsea name Maresca as new coach

Football: Soccer-Chelsea name Maresca as new coach

(Reuters) – Chelsea have appointed Enzo Maresca as their new head coach on a five-year contract, the English Premier League club said on Monday.

The Italian will begin his new role on July 1, Chelsea said in a statement.

The 44-year-old replaces Mauricio Pochettino, who left the club last month after one season.

Under Argentine Pochettino, the west London side put together a strong run towards the end of the season to finish sixth and secure European football, a marked improvement over their 12th-placed finish in the 2022-23 season.

Maresca will now be tasked with completing Chelsea’s revival and returning them to the Champions League.

The 44-year-old previously coached Manchester City’s youth team and was the senior side’s assistant coach under Pep Guardiola during their treble-winning season.

His first managerial role came at Italian side Parma in 2021, where he lasted 14 games, winning only four times.

Maresca was appointed Leicester manager at the start of the 2023-24 Championship season, which they began in scintillating form, racking up an eight-point lead at the top of the second tier at the end of 2023.

Leicester struggled at times in the second half of the season and were beset by off-field issues, but Maresca was able to guide them back to the Premier League as they secured automatic promotion and finished top of the standings.

In the Championship, Maresca’s Foxes played a possession-based style, with the team building from the back.

Maresca utilised Ricardo Pereira as an inverted full-back at Leicester, a system Pochettino employed to great effect in the last few games of Chelsea’s season, with left-back Marc Cucurella moving into midfield when they were in possession.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings and Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)

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