By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Chelsea have confirmed the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager.
The former Tottenham manager has signed a two-year contract at Stamford Bridge with an option for a third year and will officially begin his role on July 1, replacing outgoing caretaker boss Frank Lampard.
A statement, released via the club’s website on Monday afternoon, read: “Chelsea Football Club is pleased to confirm Mauricio Pochettino will become head coach of the men’s team from the beginning of the 2023/24 season.
“The Argentine will begin his new role on 1 July 2023 on a two-year contract, with a club option of a further year.”
Chelsea’s co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley added: “Mauricio’s experience, standards of excellence, leadership qualities and character will serve Chelsea Football Club well as we move forward.
“He is a winning coach, who has worked at the highest levels, in multiple leagues and languages. His ethos, tactical approach and commitment to development all made him the exceptional candidate.”
In a further joint-statement, owners Todd Boehly, Behdad Eghbali, Jose Feliciano, Mark Walter and Hansjorg Wyss labelled Pochettino a “world class manager” and insisted they were “proud” of their choice following what they described as “a diligent and thoughtful process”.
Pochettino had been leading the race to become Chelsea’s new boss for weeks after edging out the likes of Julian Nagelsmann and Luis Enrique. Following Graham Potter’s sacking in April, the Stamford Bridge hierarchy decided to bring in Lampard as caretaker boss in order to give themselves time to conduct a thorough managerial search.
Having started his managerial career with La Liga side Espanyol, Pochettino then enjoyed a successful 18-month spell with Southampton, before attracting the attention of Spurs.
During his five-year stint in north London, he guided the club to their highest league finish since 1990, as well as to their first-ever Champions League final in 2019.
He was shockingly axed just six months later following a slow start to the season, with Tottenham sitting 14th in the league, and in January 2021 he moved to PSG, where he spent several years as a player.
Pochettino won the French Cup and Super Cup that season, and followed it up with a Ligue 1 triumph at the end of the 2021/22 season – his only full campaign at the Parc Des Princes. However, failing to win the Champions League ultimately cost him his job and he was sacked just a few days after their league title triumph.
Chelsea approached the 51-year-old following Thomas Tuchel’s dismissal in September last year, but ultimately opted for Graham Potter instead. But now, after nearly a season-long wait, the Blues have got their man.