Gary Neville reckons Chelsea could “cause a surprise” under Mauricio Pochettino next season if they Argentine is appointed the new Blues boss.
Widespread reports expect Chelsea owner Todd Boehly to appoint Pochettino as the west London club’s new permanent manager.
Current caretaker boss Frank Lampard is likely to remain in place until the end of the season with Pochettino taking over in the summer.
Chelsea have spent close to £600m on players over the last two transfer windows and Graham Potter – who was sacked earlier this month – failed to gel his numerous new signings, with the Blues currently 12th in the Premier League.
But Neville reckons Pochettino, who had a successful time as manager of their London rivals Tottenham, could “cause a surprise” next season at Stamford Bridge.
Neville said on The Overlap: “Chelsea played Liverpool and there was something in that game that you saw in that collection of players and you thought they could be brought together by a talented coach.
“Pochettino I think is a really talented coach and I think Chelsea next year could really cause a surprise, just by Pochettino bringing the club together because he will. He’s likeable and the players will respect him enormously.
“He’s worked at PSG and worked with big players, worked at Tottenham, worked at Southampton where he did a great job.
“I think he’ll do a very, very good job next season and he’ll cover a lot of the stuff that’s going on behind the scenes. Those players are perfect for Pochettino. Talented, young but just needing direction.
“I wanted Pochettino and United, that’s not to say I didn’t want Erik ten Hag. It was close and I’m happy we’ve got Ten Hag I think he’s done brilliantly well but Pochettino is a top coach who I’d be happy having at my club.”
Former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore disagrees with Neville and doesn’t think Pochettino is a “good fit” for Chelsea.
“Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t inherently strike me as a Chelsea manager,” Collymore told Caught Offside.
“What I mean is, Pochettino isn’t the type of manager we’ve seen previously over the years at Stamford Bridge.
“Others have come in and been fully aware that they must hit the ground running. Obviously, Pochettino will know he’ll need to start well and get some good results if he gets the job, but he is a manager that builds for the future. He will want time to get the young and inexperienced players playing a certain way – that is unlikely to happen instantly.
“He also appears to be a very calm and collected manager, whereas most of the Blues’ previous managers who have done well, have all had that bit of spice and controversy about their personality, so I am not sure how good of a fit he’ll be.”
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