Which manager should Leicester bring in if Maresca leaves?

There are strong indications that Leicester may well lose Enzo Maresca to Chelsea, one of the big six clubs in the Premier League. Here, we look at who the Foxes should consider bringing in as a replacement if the Italian should leave.


Will he stay or will he go?
Will he stay or will he go? / Copa/GettyImages
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As FoL has been reporting, Enzo Maresca is being strongly linked with the vacant managerial position at Stamford Bridge following the departure of Mauricio Pochettino. Although much of the media comment is – characteristically - based on speculation rather than fact, it is reasonable to assume that the West London club would consider the Italian. For one thing, his stock is high after guiding the Foxes to promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. For another, Chelsea bosses are seemingly looking for a (relatively) young coach who adopts a possession-based game. On the other hand, if they are intent on appointing a coach who will be prepared to leave non-coaching matters – such as transfers - to the club and refrain from commenting on them in public, Maresca may not be the ideal choice.

For older City fans, the poaching of Leicester managers by bigger clubs is nothing new. Following promotion to the old First Division in 1971, for instance, Frank O’Farrell was recruited by Manchester United to replace Matt Busby. Maresca should be aware that didn’t end well for the Irishman as it didn’t, of course, for Graham Potter who succeeded Thomas Tuchel in the Stamford Bridge hot seat. There are other examples of Foxes bosses spirited away by so-called bigger clubs. Brian Little, for example, went to Villa, Mark McGhee to Wolves and Martin O’Neil to Celtic. There was little that the then Filbert Street club could do to prevent these departures.

There are a number of names on the Chelsea shortlist apparently including Roberto De Zerbi and Thomas Frank, both of whom have Premier League managerial experience unlike Maresca and the other candidate, Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna. Nevertheless, it remains a real possibility that the Italian will leave the King Power and the club will, hopefully at least, be considering alternatives. Who should they go for?