Reports emerging from Spain claim Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone will be installed as Chelsea’s next permanent boss, tidings guaranteed to whet whistles at Stamford Bridge after the Blues’ first-leg defeat to Paris St-Germain in the Champions League last 16.
Ladbrokes seems to agree with the notion, making the former Argentina international the 1/1 favourite to be holding the Chelsea reins on the first day of 2016/17.
Having already orchestrated one of the greatest footballing coups in recent times by ending Barcelona and Real Madrid’s nine-year stranglehold on La Liga in 2013/14, Simeone’s Atleti outfit were mere seconds away from adding the Champions League to their domestic success that season.
Since then, the Argentine coach has been constantly linked to a Premier League switch. However, it’s still questionable whether the one-time enemy of the state for England fans would be the right man to revive Chelsea fortunes?
Simeone’s recent pedigree would certainly suggest so, but there are surprising similarities to another bright young foreign manager who found Stamford Bridge to be a hotter seat than he could handle.
Here are four possible reasons why Simeone could just be the next Andre Villas-Boas in the wings:
Both labelled as ‘brightest young managers in Europe’
Although 45-year-old Simeone is not quite the baby-faced manager AVB was when he turned up at the Bridge in 2011, the South American is only seven years his European counterpart’s senior. The pair both shot to prominence by claiming the UEFA Cup in their first seasons with Porto and Atletico respectively, and over their times at these clubs, collected both the other major domestic honours available. Such a billing comes with added pressure when moving to a modern-day powerhouse such as Chelsea.
Simeone would cost a bomb to release from his current contract
Money clearly isn’t much of an object for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, but that didn’t prevent fan embarrassment that their club ended up breaking a world-record fee for a manager when coughing up £13.5m to poach the Portuguese tactician. With Simeone signing a five-year extension to keep him at the Vicente Calderon until 2020 less than 12 months ago, some estimations suggest the fee to release him would be more like £15m.
Zero Premier League nous
Admittedly, this is not always a hard and fast rule as those people thinking “what about Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger or Roberto Mancini?!” will now be screaming. However, the competitiveness of the Premier League keeps on cranking up and up, making the English top flight arguably the toughest managerial nut to crack out there. The likes of supposed done-it-alls Louis van Gaal and Jurgen Klopp are finding that out first hand.
They are both over exuberant on the touchline!
One of AVB’s legacies in English football was his eccentric actions on the touchline, where his preference for a crouch became the subject of ridicule at both Chelsea and latterly Tottenham. Simeone is certainly not averse to crouching on the edge of his technical area or running wildly down the line and jumping in the air.