“He did a great job” - Eden Hazard saddened by Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea departure, backs former teammate to succeed him 

Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League
Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League

Former Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard has admitted he was sad to see the club sack Mauricio Pochettino. Interestingly, he backed his former teammate Cesc Fabregas to replace the Portuguese.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Hazard believed that Pochettino was doing a great job at Stamford Bridge and wished him luck for the future. He said:

"I was a bit sad, to be fair. I think that he did a great job. I know that people want Chełsea to be in the top four but it's just a season of transition. He's a great manager, I wish him good luck and let's see who is going to be there in the future."

When quizzed if Roberto De Zerbi could be the next manager, the Blues legend said:

"Maybe. I also have my friend [Cesc Fabregas] in Como, he can be the first manager."

Fabregas was appointed as Como's interim coach in November 2023. However, he had to step down a month later as his coaching license ran out.

Chelsea players were surprised at Mauricio Pochettino's departure, claims Fabrizio Romano

Football transfer expert Fabrizio Romano claimed that Chelsea players were left surprised by the club's decision to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino. He reported that the decision was done after a meeting with the owners, and said on CaughtOffside:

"There were very honest meetings, with many topics discussed about the past, present and future, and then Chelsea's owners and Pochettino decided to part ways. I mentioned earlier this week that the situation was still open because of so many different people involved in the decision. It was a complicated decision and the end of the season was very positive for Chelsea, but Pochettino also spoke recently and suggested he wasn't feeling that confidence from people at the club."

He added:

"From what I'm hearing, the reaction inside the dressing room is that the players are quite surprised. The feeling was that the end of the season was sending a clear message, and that you could see the results of the entire season together between Pochettino and these players, so many of them were expecting the manager to stay. Many players are sad, some are surprised, but it's also part of the game when a manager is not staying at the club…I can understand that."

The Blues are reportedly close to appointing Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca as Pochettino's replacement, as per latest reports. Roberto De Zerbi and Kieran McKenna were also said to be in the running.

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