Chelsea appoint 'innovative' Potter to replace Tuchel as coach

James Gill - Danehouse / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Chelsea have moved quickly to replace Thomas Tuchel, appointing former Brighton & Hove Albion boss Graham Potter as their new head coach, the Premier League club announced.

The Blues have signed Potter to a long-term contract that will keep him in west London until 2027. He will be on the touchline for Saturday's game against Fulham.

"I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club," Potter said.

"I am very excited to partner with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and to develop a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.

"I would also like to place my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for allowing me this opportunity and in particular Tony Bloom and all the players, staff, and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club."

With the English manager's move to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have apparently agreed to pay the £16-million release clause in Potter's contract with Brighton.

The two sides struck a deal hours after Tuchel's dismissal, as co-owner Todd Boehly met with Potter to discuss the proposal Wednesday, according to BBC Sport's Simon Stone and Alistair Magowan.

"We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea," Boehly said. "He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the club. Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful club."

Chelsea also reportedly held talks with former Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino and Sporting Lisbon head coach Ruben Amorim before deciding on Potter.

The struggling Blues sacked Tuchel following their shock loss to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Tuesday. The defeat was the latest blow for a Chelsea side that's also off to a poor start in the Premier League after winning just three of its opening six games.

Potter, meanwhile, was overseeing an impressive start to the 2022-23 campaign after Brighton opened the season with four wins from six games. The Seagulls sit two places above Chelsea in fourth just months after finishing last season in ninth, their best-ever finish in the top flight.

The 47-year-old boss began his coaching career at Swedish club Ostersunds FK in 2011 and attracted attention after their impressive Europa League campaign in 2017, which included a knockout round win over Arsenal. He moved on to Championship side Swansea City for a season before joining Brighton in 2019.

Potter is known for an attacking and tactically-flexible brand of football that could suit a Chelsea outfit that's struggled to find the back of the net so far this term.

The sixth-place Blues will look to win their second league game in a row when they visit Fulham on Saturday.

Chelsea appoint 'innovative' Potter to replace Tuchel as coach
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