Enzo Maresca's first words at Chelsea as manager finds 'dream' away from Leicester City

New Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca
-Credit: (Image: Warren Little/Getty Images)

Joining Chelsea is a “dream” for Enzo Maresca, the Italian has said in his first words since leaving Leicester City.

Maresca has signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge, with the option for a sixth season, and takes over from Mauricio Pochettino. His decision leaves City seeking a manager with two-and-a-half months to go until the new Premier League season.

While Maresca had his concerns over financial, transfer and communication matters at City, it is the lure of Chelsea that led him to make the switch to the capital. While their desire for immediate success may be a red flag, there is plenty of talent to work with too.

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“To join Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any coach,” Maresca said. “It is why I am so excited by this opportunity. I look forward to working with a very talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club’s tradition of success and makes our fans proud.”

Of course, the deal wouldn’t have come off unless Chelsea were convinced by Maresca too and they have paid City around £10m in compensation to take the Italian as well as six members of staff. Co-sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart were impressed with what they heard from the 44-year-old.

“We are delighted to welcome Enzo to Chelsea,” they said. “He has proven himself to be an excellent coach capable of delivering impressive results with an exciting and identifiable style.

“Enzo has deeply impressed us in our discussions leading up to his appointment. His ambitions and work ethic align with those of the club. We thoroughly look forward to working with him.”

Chelsea’s ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, added: “We are thrilled to welcome Enzo into the Chelsea family. We look forward to supporting him and the rest of the sporting team in fulfilling their potential and our expectations over the years to come. He is a highly gifted coach and leader that we are confident can help fulfil our vision and competitive goals for the club.”

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