Mauricio Pochettino issues Premier League warning to Chelsea owners and squad

Mauricio Pochettino has warned Chelsea’s hierarchy it will take two years to fix the club and make the Blues title challengers once again.

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Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has agreed terms to become Chelsea’s next manager.

The 51-year-old will take over at Stamford Bridge in the summer, leaving caretaker boss Frank Lampard in charge until the end of the season.

Pochettino, who spent five years at Spurs, has been out of work since his departure from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2022.

But the Argentine is now closing in on his next move and will become Chelsea’s sixth permanent manager in five years following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter earlier this season.

The axing of Tuchel and Potter only tells part of the story, with Chelsea enduring their worst campaign for several years and slipping to 11th in the Premier League – closer to the relegation zone than the Champions League places.

Given the size of the task facing Pochettino, he is said to be realistic about what he can achieve in his first season at Chelsea.

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According to BBC Sport, he believes he can get Chelsea in better shape by this time next year but reckons it will take two years to ‘guarantee the redirection and recovery’ of the Premier League club.

Chelsea’s new owners have spent almost £600m on transfer signings over the past 12 months but several new additions have struggled and Pochettino will need to trim the squad as well as bring in his new players this summer.

Despite the myriad of issues at Stamford Bridge, Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes Pochettino can turn things around at Chelsea.

‘Based on what [Chelsea co-owner Todd] Boehly has said, Chelsea have done their spending for the next three years – apart from signing a centre-forward,” Neville told Sky Sports last month.

‘If they appoint Zinedine Zidane, Luis Enrique or Diego Simeone, they’re going to want to have another £300m as they won’t like some of the players they’ve previously signed.

‘They’ve got to appoint a manager who is going to inherit and like the squad that they’ve got – a lot of them are young – and I think that man is Mauricio Pochettino.’

Lampard’s Chelsea drew 2-2 at home to Nottingham Forest on Saturday and face Premier League leaders Manchester City next.

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