“If he does get the chance, he will flourish” - Kasey McAteer says 20-year-old Chelsea star will shine under Enzo Maresca

Chelsea have appointed Enzo Maresca as their new manager on a five-year contract
Chelsea have appointed Enzo Maresca as their new manager on a five-year contract

Leicester City midfielder Kasey McAteer has tipped young Chelsea midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka to shine under Enzo Maresca from the 2024-25 season. The Blues have appointed Italian tactician Maresca as their new head coach, replacing Mauricio Pochettino at the helm of their affairs.

Chelsea replaced Pochettino with Maresca after a review of their performance in 2023-24 was conducted by the club's hierarchy. They chose to move forward with a younger manager this season, appointing the Italian after his successful spell in charge of Leicester City in the Championship.

Enzo Maresca was in charge of several young players at the King Power Stadium, including academy graduate Kasey McAteer, who impressed for the side. The 22-year-old was a guest on Alex Goldberg's show, where he detailed why Carney Chukwuemeka has a good chance of shining under the manager.

“In one of the pocket roles, the eight roles, Carney (Chukwuemeka) has a great build, he’s a great athlete, a great player."
“I feel like if he does get the chance under Enzo (Maresca), he will flourish. I’m sure if he gets the chance, he’ll deliver on the pitch so I’ve got my fingers crossed for Carney for sure.”

Chukwuemeka has struggled to leave a lasting impression so far in his time at Stamford Bridge, with injuries limiting his contribution. The 20-year-old midfielder, who joined the club reportedly for £20 million from Aston Villa, is about to enter his third season but is yet to nail down a regular berth.

The England U-21 international made just 12 appearances for the Blues in 2023-24, playing 254 minutes, less than three full matches. The youngster has the physical and technical tools to thrive in Maresca's set-up and will be keen to contribute more than the two goals he did for the side this season.

Chelsea block multiple players from Olympic games

Chelsea have decided to block multiple players from participating in the Olympics this summer as they prepare to begin a new era under their new manager. Maresca has made it clear that he wants to have the full complement of his squad at his disposal for the start of pre-season.

The Blues have decided against releasing the duo of Malo Gusto and Benoit Badiashile for the French Olympics team, with Lesley Ugochukwu the only player in the squad. They also blocked midfielder Enzo Fernandez, who missed the final five games of the season through injury, from joining Argentina in Paris.

Chelsea will face Wrexham, Club America, Celtic, Manchester City, and Real Madrid in their pre-season friendlies in July and August. Maresca will resume his new position on July 1, hoping to hit the ground running at the club.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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