Chelsea’s lengthy search for a new permanent manager is over, with the club reportedly agreeing a long-term deal with Mauricio Pochettino.
The former Tottenham Hotspur boss is being viewed as a safe pair of hands having previously built a solid reputation in the Premier League.
The news may force online sportsbooks in the United Kingdom and Ireland into a rethink about their odds on Chelsea to win the Premier League next season.
The top betting sites will undoubtedly make Manchester City the favourites, but Pochettino will be expected to turn the Blues into title contenders.
However, it would be a risky move to back Chelsea to win the league next term, particularly given how far they have fallen this season.
The club’s scattergun approach to the last two transfer windows has created a hugely unbalanced squad, which will need to be revamped this summer.
Pochettino can ill-afford to make any mistakes, with Chelsea’s hugely ambitious owners likely to want him to deliver immediate success.
The pressure on the Argentine could quickly ramp up if he fails to get the team heading in the right direction from the outset next season.
Pochettino initially made a name for himself at Espanyol and Southampton, where the expectations were not as great as they will be at Chelsea.
He undoubtedly improved Tottenham’s fortunes during his time there, although he ultimately failed to win any major silverware.
His team should have won the Premier League title in 2015/16 and failed to get the job done against Liverpool in the 2018/19 Champions League final.
Perhaps more worryingly for Chelsea fans, Pochettino subsequently struggled to live up to expectations as Paris Saint-Germain manager.
He missed out on the Ligue 1 title in his first season and was unable to lead the team to success in the Champions League.
PSG exited UEFA’s top club competition in the last-16 the following season, although they did manage to regain the domestic crown.
A feature of Pochettino’s time with PSG was his inability to get star forwards Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi functioning as a cohesive unit.
This has raised questions over whether he possesses the talent to handle big-name players – a skill he will need in abundance at Stamford Bridge.
However, Chelsea have recently been on a mission to acquire some of the world’s most promising future talents, which could work to Pochettino’s advantage.
He is credited with developing numerous players at Southampton and Tottenham, and will fancy his chances of repeating the trick with Chelsea.
He will arrive at Chelsea with a point to prove, with his time in charge of PSG placing a sizeable black mark on a previously solid CV.
The freedom to shape the squad as he sees fit will be crucial, although the club’s wealthy owners have yet to show they can resist interfering.
Undermining managers generally never ends well and Chelsea’s bosses need to give Pochettino the time and space to stamp his authority on the club.
Starting with a clean slate on the coaching staff would be a good place to start, with too many of the current incumbents tarnished by their involvement with previous regimes.
Time is another commodity Pochettino must be given – clubs rarely climb from the bottom half of the table and challenge for silverware overnight.
However, tangible examples of progress such as a top four finish and winning a domestic trophy should be the minimum requirement for Pochettino next season.
Funds will be available to fill glaring gaps in the squad, with a goalkeeper, defensive midfielder and striker the main priorities.
The club may need to be creative in the transfer market to ensure they comply with Financial Fair Play rules and Pochettino must be clear about exactly what he wants.
Arsenal’s resurgence under Mikel Arteta is a useful template for Chelsea to follow over the next few seasons.
He has been allowed to mould the squad to his own liking and their title challenge this term is evidence of the progress they have made.
While Pochettino’s lack of silverware in English football does make him a risky appointment for Chelsea, the move may well pay dividends in the long run.