Mauricio Pochettino ready to repeat Tottenham trick and build his Chelsea team around four key stars
MAURICIO POCHETTINO is allegedly plotting to transform Chelsea with a core of young English talents. The former Tottenham boss has agreed terms to take over at Stamford Bridge with an announcement expected to follow.
Pochettino will replace Frank Lampard next month after the club legend took interim charge following Graham Potter’s sacking. The Argentine has six years worth of Premier League experience following his time with Southampton and then Tottenham. He is one of Spurs’ most successful and popular managers in recent history – despite failing to win a trophy with the club.
He averaged 1.89 points per game – the most for any Tottenham boss in Premier League history with a minimum of 38 Premier League games in charge. The ex-Southampton chief capped off his five-year stint at White Hart Lane by leading Spurs to the 2019 Champions League final, where they lost to Liverpool.
But he was sacked just months later following a poor start to the 2019-20 campaign before eventually taking over at PSG in January 2021, winning the Coupe de France and Ligue 1 prior to his departure. But it was in North London where Pochettino really made his name and his methods known .
And it was a core of young English talents – Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Eric Dier – that helped him achieve that success. Now the Evening Standard has reported that Poch plans to do the same at Stamford Bridge and build his squad around a core of homegrown players that includes the on-loan Brighton defender Levi Colwill .
They say that he has identified centre-back Colwill, 20, midfielders Conor Gallagher and Mason Mount and full-back Reece James “as players who could be instrumental to his project” at the Blues. And that could lead to a major overhaul of the club’s transfer plans this summer with reports that Chelsea were considering selling a number of academy graduates to help balance the books.
Colwill has shone for the Seagulls this term and still has two years remaining on his contract – although a 12-month extension will be triggered should he make 15 Premier League appearances from the club. Many are tipping him for an England call-up and he has been attracting interest from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Brighton.
But now it seems that any hopes of signing the ace will soon be extinguished once Pochettino takes charge. Mason Mount also appeared to be on his way out from Stamford Bridge and looked set to be heading for Liverpool. The 24-year-old has just 12 months left on his contract but thus far Mount and Chelsea have been unable to agree fresh terms with a reported price tag of £70million set on him.
Now this update states that Pochettino “is likely to recommend offering him a new deal” – and the South American’s arrival could also provide a lifeline for fellow England international Gallagher. Chelsea were open to offers for the ace in January but declined selling him to Newcastle as they were perceived as a potential European rival.
This update states that “the 23-year-old is understood to want to stay at Chelsea under a manager who trusts him”. That could see him become a key figure under Poch, who also plans on making James one of the first names on his team-sheet.