Amorim and De Zerbi are Chelsea’s Pochettino candidates

Despite waiting until the end of the season to evaluate Mauricio Pochettino’s position, Chelsea has identified Rúben Amorim and Roberto De Zerbi as prospective alternatives.

Pochettino, who joined Chelsea last summer on a two-year contract, faces an unclear future after a poor run of success. Chelsea fans booed the head coach following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Brentford, and the 52-year-old’s future is uncertain.

Chelsea, 11th in the Premier League, are resolved not to make snap judgments, and significant figures support Pochettino.

Many believe the former Tottenham manager is improving the team despite inconsistent results and performances. Pochettino has kept a young squad and dealt with injuries to key players all season.

The former Southampton coach faced further criticism when Chelsea lost the Carabao Cup final to injury-plagued and inexperienced Liverpool in extra time last month. As Chelsea meet Leicester in the FA Cup quarterfinals on 17 March, Pochettino’s future may depend on European football.

Pochettino is being given an opportunity to stay, but Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital does not want to rush a decision. Boehly and Clearlake want continuity after four managers last season.

Chelsea are looking ahead and want to be ready if they change course. They are considering Amorim, who has shone at Sporting, and De Zerbi, who may leave Brighton at the conclusion of the season.

Liverpool is considering De Zerbi to replace Jürgen Klopp, and Manchester United may want him if Erik ten Hag leaves.

Liverpool also wants Amorim. The 39-year-old led Sporting to the Portuguese title in 2021 and intends to do so again this season. Chelsea considered Amorim before hiring Pochettino last year.

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Chelsea managers must be willing to work underneath the club’s sporting structure. Recruitment is not Pochettino’s job. Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, co-sporting directors, have spent heavily on young players. As co-director of recruitment and talent, Joe Shields and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali have had a big impact.

When asked about Conor Gallagher’s future, Pochettino remarked last week, “I am the coach that needs to be in my place”. As talks over a new contract stall, Gallagher may leave this summer.

Pochettino may have been mistreated by the club, according to sources. Experience and leadership are lacking at Chelsea, and injuries make rotation tough. Roméo Lavia, Lesley Ugochukwu, and Carney Chukwuemeka are out, leaving Pochettino to play Gallagher, Enzo Fernández, and Moisés Caicedo in midfield.

Why Chelsea recalled Cesare Casadei, a 21-year-old midfielder on loan from Leicester in January, has been questioned.

Casadei has played 25 times for Leicester in all competitions and 13 minutes after returning from the Championship leaders. The Italian was an unused replacement against Brentford, raising concerns about his development.

Chelsea’s strategy is susceptible to criticism. Brazilian midfielder Andrey Santos, 19, has played four games through two loan spells at Nottingham Forest and Strasbourg this season.

Chelsea are also investigating Pochettino’s halftime fade. Frustration exists that promising first-half performances have not been replicated. Chelsea led Brentford 1-0 at halftime but settled for a point after battling in the second half.

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