When news broke of Chelsea’s sacking of their manager Thomas Tuchel and their subsequent hiring of Graham Potter, attention quickly turned to who would be the replacement at Brighton & Hove Albion.
Potter had steered his side to an incredible start to the 2022/23 season prior to his appointment at Stamford Bridge, with the Seagulls exceeding expectations to win five of their opening six fixtures. Despite sitting in fourth position in the Premier League table at the time of writing – their results on the pitch haven’t translated to confidence as it relates to their football bet odds – with the East Sussex outfit a considerable outsider to win the league at 250/1.
Nevertheless, given how well they have kicked off their campaign, there is going to be added pressure on the successor to maintain their early season form. One particular manager who the club had reportedly expressed interest in was Ange Postecoglu.
The Australian manager has risen to prominence over the past year as a result of his success with the famed Scottish Premier League club Celtic. Taking over the Hoops at the beginning of last season, Postecoglu was tasked with returning the team to Premiership glory, after they had finished behind bitter rivals Rangers for the first time in a decade at the conclusion of the 2020/21 season.
However, rumours of Postecoglu’s potential exit from Glasgow were quashed over the weekend after Brighton & Hove Albion announced the signing of Roberti De Zerbi on a four-year deal. The Italian, 43, has had his managerial career put on pause since leaving Shakhtar Donetsk in July due to the war in Ukraine.
While the former Napoli defender’s stint at Shakhtar was only a short one, he achieved exceptional results which saw the club win the Ukrainian Super Cup last year. By doing so, De Zerbi became the first Italian manager to win the league title.
His success isn’t just notable in Eastern Europe, with De Zerbi’s burgeoning potential in the coaching arena evident in his three years at Italian club Sassuolo. Starting his tenure with the small Emilian club in 2018, De Zerbi helped guide them to consecutive eighth-place finishes, a feat praised due to their low pre-season projections.
De Zerbi is particularly known for his exciting and courageous brand of football – and provided the form his new squad has shown over the past month-and-a-half – fans will be hoping to see plenty of goals under his reign.
“Roberto has shown his undoubted ability with his work in Italy and Ukraine, and what he achieved at Sassuolo certainly stands out,” Brighton & Hove Albion Technical Director David Weir said.
“In his short spell with Shakhtar he enjoyed further success, leading the club to cup success and topping the Ukrainian league before the war brought an abrupt halt to his time there.
“We are delighted to welcome Roberto and we look forward to introducing him to our squad as well as providing all the support he needs to introduce his coaching philosophy and help the players continue their brilliant start to the season.”
De Zerbi is expected to manage his first match at the club in their upcoming fixture against Liverpool on October 1st.