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Maresca takes Chelsea job after guiding Leicester to promotion

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Enzo Maresca was appointed head coach of Chelsea on Monday as co-owner and chairman Todd Boehly continues to seek a return on his much-criticized splurge of around £1 billion on transfer fees.

Maresca, who just guided Leicester City to promotion from the Championship, signed a five-year deal at Stamford Bridge to succeed Mauricio Pochettino. The club has an option to extend Maresca’s contract by an extra year.

Including interim appointments, the Italian is the sixth person to oversee the men’s team since the Boehly-fronted project commenced in May 2022.

“To join Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any coach. It is why I am so excited by this opportunity,” Maresca said.

“I look forward to working with a very talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club’s tradition of success and makes our fans proud.”

The Boehly era so far

Competition 2022-23 2023-24
Premier League 12th 6th
FA Cup Third round Semifinals
League Cup Third round Beaten finalists
Champions League Quarterfinals Didn’t qualify

Maresca, 44, moves from the East Midlands to west London after finishing one win shy of a 104-year record for the most victories in an English second-division campaign (32). Leicester seemed nailed on to finish atop the Championship after collecting 58 points at the halfway stage, but the talent at Maresca’s disposal made promotion a requisite.

Leicester expressed their displeasure at Maresca’s decision to depart so soon after last summer’s appointment.

“Given the promising foundations established during his single season in charge, the club is disappointed that Enzo has decided at this stage that he no longer wants to be part of our vision,” the Leicester statement read.

Maresca’s earliest tangible success in coaching was leading Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad to the 2020-21 Premier League 2 title – where he worked with Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia, who both joined Chelsea in 2023. He was also a member of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff during Manchester City’s treble-winning campaign.

Between those two achievements, Maresca was sacked by Serie B’s Parma after 17 points from 13 matches forced a club aiming for promotion to look nervously over its shoulder at the prospect of relegation into the third rung.

Steve Mitchell – EMPICS / PA Images / Getty

As a player, Maresca first made his name with West Bromwich Albion, where he would carpool with teammate and future Chelsea boss Graham Potter. He earned a move to Juventus after just 18 months in England’s second tier and won a Serie A title and the Supercoppa Italiana.

He was later part of a gold rush at Sevilla when the Andalusian club won two UEFA Cup crowns, the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Supercopa de Espana over 15 months. He also won Serie B with Palermo and had spells with Fiorentina, Olympiacos, Malaga, Sampdoria, and Hellas Verona.

Maresca will be accompanied by Willy Caballero, Danny Walker, Michele De Bernardin, Marcos Alvarez, Javi Molina, Roberto Vitiello, Ben Roberts, and Bernardo Cueva in his coaching staff at Chelsea.

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