Graham Potter has been announced as the new head coach of Chelsea after the shock sacking of Thomas Tuchel this week.
After reports broke earlier in the day that Potter had verbally agreed to take over at Stamford Bridge, the Blues confirmed the 47-year-old’s appointment with an official statement on Thursday afternoon.
Englishman Potter, who has been praised for his work at Premier League rivals Brighton, will replace Tuchel on a five-year-deal with immediate effect after the German was fired on Wednesday morning.
“I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club. 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,” said Potter in a statement shared by the club.
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Commenting on Potter’s appointment as Tuchel’s replacement, Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly said: “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.
“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 realizing their full potential in the coming months and years.”
Chelsea Football Club is delighted to welcome Graham Potter as our new Head Coach! 🤝
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 8, 2022
The news of Tuchel’s exit came after a dismal 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, although reports have since claimed that the German had previously endured tensions with club boss Boehly over transfer policy and proposals from the new owner such as making an attempt to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.
Potter inherits a team that has been bolstered with close to $300 million in reinforcements in the summer, including his former Brighton charge Marc Cucurella, with whom he reportedly clashed while the Catalan was trying to engineer a move away to his current club.
Other top signings made on the watch of Boehly, who took over the club as part of a consortium from previous owner Roman Abramovich in May, include Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang, who was a former player of Tuchel’s at Borussia Dortmund landed on deadline day last week from FC Barcelona.
Potter will be charged with resurrecting an underperforming team that has managed just three wins from seven games in all competitions and currently languishes in sixth in the Premier League after mustering 10 points from six outings.
With no time to spare, Potter will be thrown into the deep end as soon as Saturday’s west London derby against Fulham, who have lost close matches to Arsenal and Tottenham 2-1 this season while drawing against an also-struggling Liverpool 2-2 on opening day.
Fulham beat Potter’s Brighton 2-1 just over a week ago, and the Blues’ new manager will look to avenge that defeat in Saturday’s early kick-off in the English top flight.