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"Everyone loved him" - Chelsea star talks up Mauricio Pochettino impact

© Reuters
A Chelsea star admits "everyone loved" Mauricio Pochettino, who left his role as head coach last week.

Chelsea playmaker Cole Palmer has admitted he and his teammates were disappointed to see Mauricio Pochettino leave Stamford Bridge last week.

The Blues ended the campaign with five successive victories in the Premier League, a run of wins that earned the club a sixth-placed finish in the standings.

However, two days on from the last of those triumphs, Chelsea announced they had parted ways with the Argentine by mutual consent.

Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca is now on the brink of being appointed as Pochettino's successor, with the Italian's stock having been enhanced by winning the Championship title with the Foxes in 2023-24.

Reports have indicated the 44-year-old is happy to work within Chelsea's business model and adopt their preferred tactics, something which ultimately played a pivotal role in Pochettino's exit.

Mauricio Pochettino celebrating Chelsea's win over Manchester United on April 4, 2024.© Reuters

"Everyone loved him"

Although Chelsea endured some difficult moments throughout this campaign, it was clear the development of the squad was on an upward trajectory prior to Pochettino leaving the West Londoners.

Palmer quickly emerged as the team's star player under the 52-year-old, recording an incredible 25 goals and 15 assists from his first 45 appearances for Chelsea.

Speaking in an interview with The Sun, the 22-year-old has acknowledged that he was disappointed to see Pochettino leave the club, revealing that he had the full support of the dressing room.

The England international said: "When he first came he installed the foundations and made sure everyone knew what was required. Then he started to teach us what he wanted to do. But first we needed that base.

"As a man-manager, he would push you if you slack off. He's been really good for me. He kept me relaxed and we had a really good relationship.

"He had a tough job, half the team has been injured — some very important players, too — so it's been difficult for him. But everyone loved him. All the players did and he's been very important for me as well."

Chelsea's Cole Palmer celebrates scoring their fifth goal on April 15, 2024© Reuters

Palmer to be reunited with a familiar face?

While Palmer is sad about Pochettino's exit, the former Manchester City prospect is now in line to reunite with someone in Maresca who he knows well.

Maresca spent 2020-21 season as Man City's Under-23s manager, a season in which Palmer contributed 13 goals and six assists from 16 outings in Premier League 2.

When Maresca subsequently made the step up to Pep Guardiola's coaching staff, Palmer had been promoted to the senior ranks, with the pair having another year to work together.

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