Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and now Frank Lampard have all fallen short at Stamford Bridge, and the Argentine will have to somehow get the best out of a bloated squad in west London if he wants to be a success.
How did Walker play under Pochettino?
The 51-year-old’s best spell in management arguably came at Tottenham Hotspur, where he helped to develop one of the best full-backs in world football in Kyle Walker.
There, he has gone on to make 244 appearances for the Citizens under Pep Guardiola, winning four Premier League titles thus far, with more trophies likely to come the 32-year-old’s way given they are still on to win the treble this season.
While Reece James might be seen as a natural heir to Walker in both Pochettino’s and England’s thinking, the promising right-back has spent far too long on the sidelines through injury in recent seasons and has become something of a liability when it comes to staying fit.
However, Pochettino will have another right-back to choose from at Stamford Bridge next season, and he could potentially unearth his next Walker in January signing, Malo Gusto.
How good is Malo Gusto?
Chelsea confirmed the signing of Gusto from Lyon in January in a deal worth £35.1m before sending him back to the French side on loan for the rest of the campaign.
So far this season, the “very dangerous” teenage defender – as dubbed by journalist Bobby Vincent – has made 18 appearances in Ligue 1, contributing one assist and averaging a strong 6.94 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Walker cultivated a reputation as an extremely dangerous defender in both an attacking and defensive sense at Spurs because of his pace, as well as one who is comfortable in possession at City, and Gusto could certainly emulate that at Chelsea.
FBref rates him in the top 10% of defenders across Europe for passes completed, progressive carries and progressive passes received per 90 minutes, which highlights his attacking abilities, while WhoScored suggests that he excels at tackling, interceptions and holding onto the ball.
If the Frenchman can live up to his potential at Stamford Bridge, there seems no reason why he couldn’t oust James from the starting side and potentially become Pochettino’s next Walker in the process.