Premier League

6 winners & losers from Enzo Maresca’s move to Chelsea

Reece James

The fourth permanent head coach of the BlueCo 22 era is here, with Enzo Maresca the newest face in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Chelsea’s owners took a huge risk in allowing Mauricio Pochettino to leave, but they were clearly impressed by Maresca’s Championship-winning campaign with Leicester City and have handed the former Manchester City assistant his first go at life in the Premier League.

Here are three winners and three losers from his move to Chelsea.

Reece James

James will have a key role under Maresca / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Maresca loves an inverted full-back. He’ll demand at least one of his full-backs play like a midfielder going forwards, and that sounds like perfection for Reece James.

While James is excellent driving forwards down the right wing, he’s so good with the ball at his feet and can have a much bigger impact on the game when placed in a central role. We saw it during his loan with Wigan and we’ve even seen glimpses of it during his time in the first team.

In a role which may not be as physically demanding as a wing-back, James may also benefit after two years of battling injury issues.

Ben Chilwell

Chilwell could struggle / Julian Finney/GettyImages

The way Maresca tends to work with full-backs is one inverts into midfield and the other tucks inside into a back three. Neither of those positions really work for left-back Ben Chilwell.

Chilwell is at his best when getting forwards like a typical full-back, but the chances to play such a role will be incredibly limited under Maresca, who is likely to favour Marc Cucurella or Levi Colwill on his left side.

It would not be a huge surprise to see Chilwell get minutes further forward again, as we saw in the early Pochettino days, but it’s clear the 27-year-old is not the ideal fit for this system.

Enzo Fernandez

Maresca may build his side around Fernandez / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Maresca built Leicester’s midfield around Harry Winks, who sat at the base and sprayed passes around like they were going out of fashion.

Reports suggest Maresca impressed Chelsea officials with his plan for Enzo Fernandez, which almost certainly will revolve around placing the Argentine in this Winks role and encouraging him to take control of games.

Fernandez usually gets better when his number of touches goes up, and one glance at Winks’ statistics suggest this could be a match made in heaven.

Djordje Petrovic

Maresca’s style of play could create issues for Petrovic / Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

The goalkeeper is a crucial position for Maresca, who wants his stopper out and part of…

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