Chelsea appoint Graham Potter in time for Saturday’s crunch Fulham clash
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Chelsea have confirmed Graham Potter as their new head coach following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel.
Potter joins from Brighton & Hove Albion, where he spent just over three seasons in charge. The 47-year-old boss earned widespread praise on the south coast for transforming the Seagulls' style of play and turning them into top-half finishers last season.
He will take charge of his first official game as Chelsea manager this weekend when the Blues make the short trip across west London to face Fulham, live on BT Sport. Getting Potter has not come cheap for Todd Boehly, who has had to pay around £16million to release the former Swansea and Ostersund manager from his contract at the Amex Stadium, according to reports.
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The much-admired boss is only Chelsea's second permanent English manager since the turn of the millennium, with Blues legend Frank Lampard being the only other.
On making the move to Stamford Bridge, Potter said: "I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea FC, this fantastic football club. 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."
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Potter has a tough act to follow at Stamford Bridge after replacing Tuchel. Although results did not make for good reading at the start of this season, the 49-year-old German delivered Champions League and Club World Club success in his 21 months in charge.
However, after being backed to the tune of over £250million in the transfer market over the summer, results were not deemed to be good enough and the former Borussia Dortmund boss was sacked after Tuesday night's Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb.
It was also revealed in the aftermath of Tuchel's departure that he did not agree with the club's interest in signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United in the summer. This is believed to have contributed to his downfall.
It is now down to Potter to unite a squad of players that currently finds themselves sixth in the Premier League, three points adrift of his former club Brighton and only five points behind league leaders Chelsea.
Todd Boehly, Chelsea chairman, said: "We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea. 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.
"He has had a major impact at his previous clubs’ and we look forward to his positive impact at Chelsea. We look forward to supporting him, his coaching team and the squad in realising their full potential in the coming months and years."
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