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The 6 winners and losers from Graham Potter’s arrival at Chelsea

The Englishman has taken the Stamford Bridge hotseat


Graham Potter has agreed to take the Chelsea hotseat following the shock dismissal of Thomas Tuchel, it has been confirmed.

Tuchel was sacked after a 1-0 defeat to Dynamo Zagreb in Chelsea’s Champions League opener, and the Blues have agreed to pay some £21m in compensation to bring the Brighton man, and his backroom staff, to Stamford Bridge.

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Potter’s style at Brighton was certainly different from Tuchel’s during his tenure at Chelsea, and it is sure to ruffle a few feathers in the Chelsea camp and beyond. With that in mind, we take a look at who the potential winners and losers from the Englishman’s arrival could prove to be.

The Winners

1. Graham Potter

First up, the man himself. While Potter may be agreeing to take a job at a club with a firing record worse than Alan Sugar, it is undoubtedly a step up for the Englishman, who just six years ago was working at FK Ostersunds in Sweden.

His taking of a top job, despite his reputation as a project boss, and a lack of any significant silverware, will be yet another feather in the cap of a man who many seem to believe is destined for the England job in years to come.

And, should rumours that new Chelsea owners Todd Boehly and co. are set to have more patience with future head coaches, his tactical nous combined with Boehly’s deep pockets could prove a fearsome match.

2. Marc Cucurella

Brighton’s player of the season last campaign, Cucurella completed his big-money move to Stamford Bridge over the summer, but can have had no idea he would be reunited with the coach that shot him to stardom less than a month later.

Cucurella knows the systems that Potter will want to use better than anyone else save the Englishman himself, and will almost certainly be handed a role on the left side of his defence, though whether it is at left centre-back or left wing-back remains to be seen.

His influence could be crucial however, as Potter seeks to transmit his flexible ideas from his time at Brighton onto a Chelsea side that have been rigid and uninspiring under Thomas Tuchel.

3. Conor Gallagher

It has hardly been an auspicious start to Conor Gallagher’s Chelsea career, with the Englishman having picked up a red card against Leeds United and looking out of place in Thomas Tuchel’s tactical setup.

Potter’s more energetic system may allow the youngster to flourish in a freer role, similar to that picked up by Adam Lallana at the Amex Stadium, and it may provide him the platform to reproduce some of the fine football he was able to play during last season’s loan spell at Crystal Palace.

Losers

1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

“It will be an honour and a joy again [to play with Tuchel], we had some good times in Dortmund together so I am really happy to play for him again. We will achieve some big things, I am sure of this and I will try to help the team.”

Those were the words of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang upon signing for the club on transfer deadline day. However, after just 60 minutes on the field for Thomas Tuchel, they have been split from one another once more.

The striker arrived at the demand of the German on transfer deadline day, but was cast aside by a similarly energetically-styled Arsenal side just 8 months ago, and it is hard to see how he will gel with Potter at Stamford Bridge.

2. Jorginho

Turning attentions again to Potter’s Brighton style of play, there is a clear requirement for his midfielders. Athleticism, tough tackling and clever on the ball are all attributes held by Yves Bissouma and now his replacement Moises Caicedo at the base of the Seagull’s engine room.

And, while 30-year-old Jorginho possesses the latter, he has been exposed both for pace and tackling ability during his time at Chelsea. With just under 1 year left on his contract, he is almost certain to be phased out by his new coach.

Whether that will happen immediately, however, remains to be seen, with options very limited at the base of the Chelsea midfield. N’Golo Kante cannot be relied upon to stay fit, while Denis Zakaria remains an unknown quantity after arriving on loan.

Potter may have to muddle through until January.

3. Brighton

Finally, it would not be fair to discuss losers of the move without recognising the fantastic job that Potter has done at Brighton, who currently sit in 4th place in the early runnings of the Premier League season.

Joining the Seagulls at the end of the 2018/19 season, he has kept them comfortably in the top flight while playing some fantastically eye-catching football, all while often being accused of failing to put the ball in the net.

Last season’s 9th-placed finish was one of a side really going places, and Brighton and their fans will be devastated to see him depart after their current start to the season.

The South Coast side are certainly one of the biggest losers, despite the hefty compensation.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.



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