Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino are parting ways by mutual consent after the Argentine spent just one season at Stamford Bridge. The Blues finished sixth in the Premier League in 2023/24. Although that is beneath the club’s expectations, it represents an improvement on the previous season. In 2022/23, Chelsea finished 12th, the club’s second-worst finish in the Premier League era. Pochettino helped Chelsea to a League Cup Final and a semifinal appearance in the FA Cup semifinals.

Regardless, the decision to exit Chelsea is, by the club’s account, a mutual decision. Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, the sporting directors for the club, showed thanks for Pochettino.

“On behalf of everyone at Chelsea, we would like to express our gratitude to Mauricio for his service this season,” they said. “He will be welcome back to Stamford Bridge any time and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching career.”

Pochettino also had a comment in Chelsea’s press release on Tuesday. He cited that the club grew and is in a position to succeed in the future.

“Thank you to the Chelsea ownership group and Sporting Directors for the opportunity to be part of this football club’s history. The Club is now well positioned to keep moving forward in the Premier League and Europe in the years to come.”

A surprising decision that may set Chelsea back

Pochettino is right, Chelsea has shown growth. In his one season, Chelsea showed signs that it would struggle again. After 16 games, Chelsea was in 12th, an all-too-familiar spot for the Blues. However, one loss in the club’s last 15 games set up success. Over that span, Chelsea won nine games while drawing five. Since Boxing Day, only three teams had more points than Chelsea. Those were Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City, the clubs that finished in the top three.

Pochettino was a cohesive force for Chelsea. In 2022/23, the Blues were disjointed as the massively expensive squad struggled both offensively and defensively. In one year under Pochettino, Chelsea worked toward an identity. Chelsea’s defense was still not the strongest, but it showed offensive prowess and potency.

That comes from the way Pochettino used many of the young players at Stamford Bridge. Look no further than Cole Palmer. The 22-year-old was a shining light for Chelsea this season. Palmer scored a massive 22 goals, which ranked second in the Premier League scoring charts. Malo Gusto, Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher also took massive steps in their development this season under Pochettino.

Losing the leading presence that allowed these players to develop could stunt Chelsea. Yes, it will play in Europe next season in either the Europa League or the Europa Conference League

No replacement established yet for Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea

Chelsea did not mention a coach that will replace Pochettino. The club’s 2023/24 season is officially over, and it is beginning preparations for the coming season. Chelsea is part of the schedule of summer friendlies in the United States this summer. Therefore, it will be an opportunity to see the first games for a new coach.

It is hard to gauge who the next coach can be. Fans immediately pointed to Thomas Tuchel, who is leaving Bayern Munich at the end of the season. Tuchel was the manager of Chelsea at the beginning of the 2022/23 season. He also helped deliver the last trophy for the club via the UEFA Champions League in 2021/22.