Brighton appoint new head coach to replace Graham Potter

    Roberto De Zerbi was last in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk before the Russian invasion (Picture: Getty)
    Roberto De Zerbi was last in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk before the Russian invasion (Picture: Getty)

    Brighton have appointed Roberto De Zerbi as their new head coach after Graham Potter left for Chelsea.

    De Zerbi was last in charge of Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine but left the role in July following Russia’s invasion of the country, which is still ongoing.

    The 43-year-old helped them win the Ukrainian Super Cup in 2021 and started his managerial career in his native Italy, taking charge of the likes of Palermo, Sassuolo and Benevento.

    The Seagulls are fourth in the Premier League table following a strong start the the 2022-23 season.

    ‘I am absolutely thrilled Roberto has agreed to become our new head coach,’ Brighton chairman Tony Bloom said.

    ‘Roberto’s teams play an exciting and courageous brand of football, and I am confident his style and tactical approach will suit our existing squad superbly.’

    De Zebri has signed a four-year contract at the Amex and has become the club’s third manager since their promotion to the Premier League in 2017, following Chris Houghton and Potter.

    Chelsea Unveil New Head Coach Graham Potter
    Graham Potter left Brighton for Chelsea after three years at the Amex (Photo: Getty)

    In a statement on the club’s website, Brighton say his formal introduction to the media has been postponed till Tuesday as a mark of respect to Queen Elizabeth II, with Her Majesty’s funeral taking place on Monday.

    Several names were touted with taking the Brighton job following Potter’s departure to Chelsea, including Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou, Leicester’s Brendan Rodgers and Bodo/Glimt’s Kjetil Knutsen.

    But according to deputy chairman Paul Barber, De Zebri was their first and only pick, adding: ‘We looked at a range of excellent candidates but Roberto was our number one choice from the start and the only person we spoke to.

    ‘It’s no secret our chairman is constantly monitoring potential coaches, both here in our domestic leagues, throughout Europe and across the world as part of our succession planning work. 

    ‘We feel Roberto is the ideal cultural and technical fit for Brighton & Hove Albion, and the right person to continue the club’s progress and work with this outstanding group of players.’

    With the season now on its first international break, De Zebri’s first game in charge is set to be on 1st October against Liverpool at Anfield.

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