Four Chelsea stars to benefit massively from imminent Enzo Maresca appointment

As the deal draws nearer, these four Chelsea players stand to gain the most from Enzo Maresca’s appointment.
It appears that Enzo Maresca will take over as Chelsea’s head coach, which could be extremely good news for four players on the team who need to prove something.

Four Chelsea stars to benefit massively from imminent Enzo Maresca appointment

Enzo Maresca is expected to be appointed as Chelsea’s new head coach on a five-year contract in the coming days (Image: Daniel Chesterson/Offside)

It would be accurate to state that many people were unaware of Enzo Maresca heading into his first season with Leicester City.

“Our goal is to play as well as we can at first,” Maresca stated after being appointed at King Power Stadium. “From there, we can develop our concept and philosophy day by day, but winning games is what matters most.

“We will give everything we have, without a doubt, because the club deserves it. That is our responsibility and our job. Then, as I previously stated, we will undoubtedly get better day by day and step by step.”

The Italian joined Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff at Manchester City before moving to Leicester. Maresca was a member of the backroom team that helped City, based in Manchester, win the FA Cup, the Premier League, and the Champions League in their treble-winning 2022–23 season.

Before arriving at the Etihad Stadium, Maresca had only ever managed once in a short-lived and fruitless tenure with Parma. However, as negotiations with Chelsea for a five-year contract to succeed Mauricio Pochettino at Stamford Bridge proceed, the 44-year-old is seen as one of Europe’s most promising assistant coaches.

The Chelsea administration is committed to selecting a player who can infuse Stamford Bridge with an alluring possession-based football style. Maresca is viewed as that man in its entirety, and following their initial talks with the Italian, the Blues board was reportedly keen to finalize the deal as soon as possible.

But it was more complicated than Maresca simply holding onto the ball for the sake of it at Leicester. Some of the Foxes’ players really stood out for Maresca last season in other areas of the field.

The two fighters with the most one-on-one matches during the 2023–2024 Championship season were Abdul Fatawu and Stephy Mavididi. With 447 duels, Mavididi topped the list, and Fatawu was not far behind with 399.

By building up from the back and playing cool, collected football, Leicester was able to create an air of chaos and unpredictability when they advanced the ball forward. Encouraging both of their wingers to have possession and express themselves gave Championship defenders fits all season long.

Given Maresca’s strong moral convictions, it is highly likely that the Italian will attempt to play a similar game at Stamford Bridge. And it’s possible that he has the players to accomplish that.

Right now, Chelsea’s senior winger options are Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Noni Madueke. Palmer, the last of the four, is a bit of a maverick and was given almost unrestricted playing time under Pochettino; this seemed to work perfectly for the Chelsea Player of the Season.

At Stamford Bridge the following season, players like Madueke, Mudryk, and Sterling all have something to prove. As the recently concluded season came to an end, Madueke showed significant improvement, but as he begins his third season with the team, it seems like there is still so much more to come from the 22-year-old.

While this was going on, Mudryk continued to display flashes of his talent but was unable to do so consistently. Still, Maresca’s attacking-oriented style of play could be very advantageous for the Ukrainian international. It lets wingers express themselves.

And Sterling’s situation is comparable. Despite playing in many more games in the last few games of the season, the 29-year-old fell out of favor with Pochettino toward the end of the campaign.

When it comes to Maresca taking over at Chelsea, there are many reasons to be happy. The effect he could have on Chelsea’s wide attacking players is possibly the most significant.

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