Chelsea owner Todd Boehly could ditch manager Graham Potter and issue a swoop for Jose Mourinho, who has led the Blues on two illustrious prior occasions, in a move that may finally get the best out of under-firing Kalidou Koulibaly.
What’s the latest on Chelsea’s managerial hunt?
After winning just two of the past 15 fixtures across all competitions, Potter’s grip on the reins of his Blues outfit appears to grow increasingly weaker, and despite the faith of the owners, the Telegraph’s Matt Law reports that the next two fixtures, against Leeds United and Borussia Dortmund, could be definitive for the 47-year-old.
And now, according to former Italian footballer Antonio Cassano (via Sport Witness), Mourinho would be ‘keen’ on a return to Stamford Bridge, should an opening materialise.
Cassano said: “If Inzaghi were to be fired, I would rule out the return of José Mourinho. If an offer from the Premier League were to arrive, the Special One would choose England. The fans fell in love with his attitude (in Italy), but he intends to leave, and for me, he can only go back to Chelsea.”
Could Mourinho really get the best out of Koulibaly?
Mourinho’s first two spells with Chelsea left him with an illustrious trophy cabinet consisting of three Premier League trophies, the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup.
And while he was sacked on both occasions, there may just be a belief that he can stamp an instant change into life at Stamford Bridge, something that is duly needed given that the Blues are currently tenth in the Premier League, 13 points off top-four.
According to one tactical analysis, Mourinho’s system with i Lupi focusses on forcing opposition out wide and negating the threat in the central defensive areas; Koulibaly, who is 6 foot 1 and ranks among the top 12% of defenders in Europe’s top five leagues for blocks per 90, also winning two aerial battle per match across the duration of his career, can prove effective in this regard.
And given his former imperious standing with the Partenopei in Italy, Mourinho might just hold the key to unlocking his potential and ensuring he returns to his former zeal with his west London outfit.
Hailed as “outstanding” by former Chelsea man Joe Cole, Mourinho is an experienced and iconic manager with a heap of defensive pedigree – indeed, the chosen one’s 2004/05 title-winning Blues team hold the division’s greatest seasonal defensive record to this date – Koulibaly might just benefit from a switch in system that finally opens the floor for him to flourish.
Considering this, Chelsea might just strike gold with an audacious managerial appointment of Mourinho, with the distinguished Champions League-winning boss perhaps feeling he can issue a three-peat of successful spells in west London.
And with his defensive acumen in mind, Koulibaly might just, belatedly, get his career at Stamford Bridge up and running.
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