It’s official. Graham Potter has been named the new Chelsea manager, just over 24 hours after the departure of Thomas Tuchel.
He takes over at a fascinating time in Chelsea history. The first hand-picked owner of the Todd Boehly era, Potter has a star-studded squad to work with and has £300m of summer signings faces to properly integrate as well.
It’s a busy job, but here are some of Potter’s top priorities.
The most pressing issue at Stamford Bridge is the leaky defence. Chelsea spent nearly £200m on new defenders this summer and yet look more vulnerable than ever.
A three-man defence is likely to stay and Marc Cucurella will almost certainly take up the left centre-back role in which he shone under Potter last season.
Expensive signing Wesley Fofana will likely start on the right, with Thiago Silva and Kalidou Koulibaly candidates to rotate in the central spot.
Is Kai Havertz going to be Potter’s striker, or will the German return to his attacking midfield roots?
Despite a bumpy few years, Havertz remains one of the most intriguing young players on the planet and Potter must work out a way to help him realise his immense potential.
It’s not an easy issue to solve, but Todd Boehly clearly believes Potter has what it takes.
Bad results have seen fan support wane but, more importantly, player confidence could hardly be lower right now. Sources close to the dressing room have told 90min that a number of attacking players’ relationships with Tuchel were almost non-existent, and that showed on the pitch.
That sense of doom and gloom needs to disappear. Chelsea have so many exciting attackers and they need help to get back to their best.
Happy players are impactful players, and Potter will know that.
Creating chances was a major flaw of Tuchel’s system. Low-block defences and stubborn centre-backs usually enjoyed their meetings with Chelsea.
Do the Blues have the right sorts of players for Potter? Hakim Ziyech is a wizard of a playmaker when at his best but hasn’t been able to meet those standards in England. Perhaps Potter can address that.
Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount and the other primary creators in the squad, and just how Potter will piece them all together will make for fascinating viewing.
One of the most memorable parts of the early weeks of Tuchel’s tenure was just how quickly the German won over the Chelsea supporters.
Fans felt as though Tuchel genuinely wanted to be part of Chelsea and understood exactly what was needed to be a success at the Bridge. Whether those sentiments were still there towards the end is up for debate.
Chelsea supporters need to gel with their manager and they will want to hear Potter speak openly and passionately about his plans for the club.