Mauricio Pochettino is in advanced talks to become the next Chelsea manager and has demanded the club sign his preferred sporting director.
What are Mauricio Pochettino’s demands?
Chelsea seem poised to hire Pochettino as the Blues look to recruit a manager for the long term after four manager changes in the last two years. Frank Lampard is the current interim manager but will be replaced in the summer.
Now, according to Football Insider, the Chelsea board has been told by Pochettino that he wants Paul Mitchell to be his sporting director.
The two have history after he worked closely with Mitchell at Southampton. For the Saints, he was the club’s Head of Recruitment, before following Pochettino to Tottenham in 2014. There, he signed the likes of Son Heung-min, Kieran Trippier and Dele Alli.
Mitchell is currently under the employ of AS Monaco but is expected to leave the French club this summer and Pochettino wants to bring him to Chelsea. The Blues have had an erratic transfer strategy in recent years with little philosophy behind it due to the consistent managerial turnover. Pochettino and Mitchell could use their working experience to turn things around at Stamford Bridge with more measured moves to a specific structure.
Football Insider also reports that the “Chelsea hierarchy are working behind the scenes to create a position for Mitchell” in order for him to work alongside Pochettino.
How can Pochettino improve Chelsea?
The biggest difference Pochettino can make requires the new ownership to trust him and give him the time he needs to yield results. Chelsea have a lot of young, talented players and now have a seasoned man-manager with experience of the elite game to get the best out of the players that have struggled this season.
With the Blues set to finish in mid-table, they will go into the 2023/24 season without Champions League football, which may be a blessing in disguise. After such a poor season, it could help Chelsea to not have any extra distractions as they aim to finish much higher in the league.
Playing in Europe places extra strain on players but without it, they will be fresher than their rivals all season provided they are luckier with injuries.
Pochettino will need to transform his side to have any hopes of coming close to challenging for the top four next season let alone the Premier League title.