Chelsea chose new coach because of squad fit – but at least 3 players should worry about their place

Chelsea are on the verge of appointing Leicester coach Enzo Maresca to replace Mauricio Pochettino, and already there are major questions about how the new man will use the squad at his disposal.

In his exclusive for Caught Offside, Ben Jacobs reveals that one of the reason Maresca was picked as the new man was because he’s seen as someone who fits the group already at the club:

“Chelsea’s players believe momentum is on their side and Maresca’s favoured 4-3-3 should favour the squad he inherits,” Jacobs wrote.

There’s already been a huge amount of speculation online about this, and you only have to search Twitter to see a vast amount of content focused around what Maresca might do. The fact that he has a video with “The Coach’s Voice” explaining his football philosophy gives plenty of clues about how it might work.

The players at risk

As Jacobs says, the fact he plays a 433 has been seen as a bonus as it allows many of Chelsea’s current players to fit right in. But there are concerns too. Many have noted that Maresca’s slow, patient passing game needs a goalkeeper who is exceptional with the ball, and neither of Chelsea’s two first team options really have that in their locker.

At the back, there’s plenty of speculation that we will see Reece James moving into midfield from right back when Chelsea are in possession, much as we’ve seen his Leicester team do with their full backs all year.

In midfield, it’s hard to see where Maresca’s namesake Enzo Fernandez fits in. If it’s a true 433 we should see Cole Palmer, Nicolas Jackson plus one other as the front 3, with Moises Caicedo and Conor Gallagher playing alongside Enzo in the middle 3. But that didn’t work well on the occasions it was tried this year under Pochettino, so it will be interesting to see what solutions the new coach has for that issue.

Tags Djordje Petrovic Enzo Fernandez Enzo Maresca Robert Sanchez
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