Owen Hargreaves has praised Chelsea’s appointment of Mauricio Pochettino, expecting the Blues to break back into the top-four of the Premier League next season. The former Tottenham, Paris-Saint Germain and Southampton boss signed a two-year contract with the club, with an option of a further year, and will begin his new role on July 1. Chelsea had finished just 12th in the Premier League this season, their worst performance for more than 25 years, but Hargreaves believes Pochettino will be an ‘amazing fit’ for the Blues. He said: ‘It’s a great appointment, a brilliant appointment. I respect Graham Potter for taking that job and testing himself at the top level, but it was a terrible fit for him and a terrible fit for Chelsea. I think Poch will be an amazing fit for them and I think they’ll be a top-four side again next season.’

Pochettino is Chelsea’s sixth permanent manager in five years and returns to the Premier League following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter earlier this season. Frank Lampard was in temporary charge of Chelsea for the last two months of the campaign but oversaw just one win in 11 games. Following confirmation of Pochettino’s move to west London, Chelsea sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Lawrence Stewart said: ‘Mauricio’s experience, standards of excellence, leadership qualities and character will serve Chelsea Football Club well as we move forward. He is a winning coach, who has worked at the highest levels, in multiple leagues and languages. His ethos, tactical approach and commitment to development all made him the exceptional candidate.’ Chelsea finished in the bottom-half of the Premier League despite new co-owner Todd Boehly spending almost £600m on new signings over the past 12 months. In a joint-statement, Chelsea’s owners said: ‘We are delighted that Mauricio will be joining Chelsea. Mauricio is a world-class coach with an outstanding track record. We are all looking forward to having him on board.’

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