Chelsea fired Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday morning, just hours after losing to Dinamo Zagreb for the third time this season. After losing to Leeds and Southampton early in the season in the Premier League, the Blues lost to Croatia 1-0 in the Champions League.
The German had led Chelsea to the Champions League title just four months after he arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2021. His firing came as a bit of a surprise, as he had been a popular manager in London. He proved that again last season when he led the team to victory in the Club World Cup and to the finals of both the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup. But when things started going bad at the beginning of this campaign, the new owners used the axe.
Now, Chelsea players will be wondering what kind of manager the club’s leaders will try to hire. And Express Sport looks at three players whose careers could be hurt by Tuchel leaving and four stars who could be on the way up.
Bad news for Aubameyang, Silva, and Azpilicueta
During the summer transfer window, Chelsea signed a lot of players. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed with Chelsea on the last day of the window, after leaving Barcelona. Aubameyang has already shown that he can do well in the Premier League. He spent four good years at Arsenal, where he scored a lot of goals. But Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wanted him to leave so badly that he let the Gabon international rip up his contract and leave for free in January.
The Blues took a risk when they signed Aubameyang, but Tuchel had worked with him at Borussia Dortmund, and he and Aubameyang got along well. But with a new manager, there may be worries about how the player will act. And he might not become the famous person he had hoped to be.
Thiago Silva is another player who might struggle with a new manager. Later this month, the center-back will turn 38, so he has a limited amount of time left at the top of his game. A new manager might want to start thinking about the future right away and focus on the younger players. And that might cut down on Silva’s playing time.
A new manager could also choose to play with only two central defenders instead of the three that Tuchel usually used. And that would make it harder to get a spot in the middle of the defense. Cesar Azpilicueta is no longer a first-choice player, so it seems likely that he would play less often.
Good news for Gallagher, Pulisic, Ziyech, and Broja
If a new manager changes the team’s formation, he might decide to play with three players in the middle. That would be a great chance for Conor Gallagher, who did well on loan at Crystal Palace last season. Gallagher could be the No. 8 player and work with a new coach to finally get his career going at Stamford Bridge.
Under Tuchel’s replacement, players like Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech could get their chance to shine. Both of them have shown how talented they can be, but they fell out of favor with the German coach and had trouble getting starting spots.
Armando Broja could finally get his chance to lead the front line when the giants of west London hire a new manager to move the club forward. Broja did well when he was loaned to Southampton last time. If the new manager doesn’t like Aubameyang, Broja could get a lot of starts and try to score goals.