Graham Potter during Chelsea’s game against Fulham.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly made his expectations clear when he sacked Thomas Tuchel in September, who less than just two years prior had won them the Champions League. Boehly told Tuchel they “want a new start.” Not long after, Chelsea brought in Brighton’s Graham Potter.
Now, despite spending £323m in the winter transfer window, Potter’s team sits in 9th place in the Premier League, 10 points adrift of the top four. As Boehly has shown, he is willing to make impactful, bold decisions, meaning that Potter could soon find himself without a job if he cannot turn around their current run of form.
While there is still a chance that Potter keeps his job, I’ve identified three possible candidates to replace Graham Potter if Boehly decides to sack him.
The first option is Brendan Rodgers, the current manager of Leicester City. Rodgers is experienced, with just under 700 games of professional managerial experience, and is familiar with the Premier League. Though Leicester have recovered slightly from a poor start to the season, Rodgers has voiced his frustration over Leicester’s lackluster transfer activity, suggesting that if given the opportunity, he would be open to moving clubs. So far Rogers has stayed loyal to Leicester and has done a good job there, most notably winning the English FA Cup in the 20/21 season. Since Rogers has spent time at Chelsea previously, acting as the head of the reverse team and working within the youth programs, a move back to Chelsea is more likely. Chelsea would further provide him with the financial resources to bring in players that were not available at Leicester, as well as give him the opportunity to elevate his status as a manager.
Another potential candidate is Luis Enrique. Despite not managing club football since 2017, Enrique was with the Spanish national team until he was sacked after the World Cup in Qatar. He became renowned for his success at Barcelona, where he won 9 trophies, including a treble in 2015. In his time at Barcelona, he utilized a 4-3-3 formation, prioritizing possession based play and high intensity pressing. This is a similar system to what Chelsea have been using, so Enrique wouldn’t cause too much of a change to their style of play. If he can transfer his success from Barcelona to London, Chelsea’s future is in good hands.
The third, and in my opinion, most likely replacement is Mauricio Pochettino. Like Enrique, Pochettino is currently without a job after being let go from PSG at the end of the 21/22 season. Although he won the Ligue 1 title with them that season, his stint at PSG is regarded by most as unimpressive due to the team’s lack of success in the Champions League. The main reason for his link to Chelsea, however, is his time at Tottenham. Pochettino took the job in 2014, leading the club to their highest Premier League finish ever in 2017. Two years later he took Spurs to their first Champions League final ever. While they did come short in the end, Pochettino became admired by their fans due to his remarkable advancements he brought to the club. Now that a managerial spot looks to be opening in London, he remains the likely candidate to take over at Chelsea and start their push for the top four.
Of course, the job is still currently Potter’s, so he should be given the chance to prove himself and improve Chelsea’s performances. Potter has certainly shown previously at Brighton that he is a good manager, so fans can remain optimistic that things will turn around for him. It is also necessary to acknowledge that many Chelsea supporters are not calling for his dismissal. The purpose of this article was simply to analyze the potential replacements should Boehly decide it is time to move on.