Almost a year has gone by since Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur and replaced by the legendary Jose Mourinho.
Since then, Spurs have undergone a transformation that has seen them now considered among the best sides in the league once again with a squad deep enough and capable of challenging for the league title.
Pochettino has been linked with several clubs since his departure but nothing has materialised into getting him back into football.
He recently revealed that he rejected an offer to take over as Benfica manager last season before they re-hired Jorge Jesus, while there has recently been speculation about a potential move to Monaco or Zenit St. Petersburg.
During an appearance on Sky’s Monday Night Football, he revealed he is ready to make a return to the game and refused to rule out a potential return to the Premier League. So where could he end up?
The obvious choice, is Manchester United. When Jose Mourinho left Old Trafford in December 2018, Pochettino was the leading candidate to take over as the main man but he was tied up at Tottenham. Ole Gunnar Solskjær was brought in on a caretaker basis, with many believing United would make a move for Pochettino at the end of the season.
Obviously that didn’t happen with Ole going on a crazy run that ended in him getting the job permanently. Fast forward to today and the consensus is the same – Pochettino is the man who should be at the helm. With Solskjær going through yet another rough patch, Pochettino’s comments come at an interesting time. If United’s board have any sense and foresight, they’ll make this happen.
The likelihood however is that they won’t, so another option could be Paris Saint-Germain. The French giants made it to the Champions League final last season but then started this campaign poorly with back-to-back losses in their opening league games before losing to Manchester United in their opening Champions League fixture. Plenty of fans and media personalities called for Thomas Tuchel to leave the club, and Pochettino has a relationship with the club having previously played for them.
Pochettino would walk into Paris and instantly have a top-drawer squad to work with. He would get trophies under his belt, something that has followed him around as a negative note on his career so far. He’d be able to work with some of the best attackers in the world but also the philosophy that himself and Tuchel carry is fairly similar so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get the players to adapt to the minor differences.
Another option could be the Barcelona job should Ronald Koeman not make it out of the presidential elections well. Candidate Victor Font has revealed that he wants Pep Guardiola back but if that doesn’t happen, which seems likely, Pochettino could be a more than viable alternative.
The main issue he’d have is his previous connection with Espanyol, considering he has previously publicly stated that he would never manage them. There’s also the minor issue of Lionel Messi’s status at the club, so nobody wants the role once he eventually leaves because trying to make up for that is destined to be a poisoned chalice.
Wherever he ends up, the pressure and expectation will be higher than at any point in his career but I firmly believe he will live up to the hype his name now carries.