Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed as the new manager of Paris Saint-Germain, after German Thomas Tuchel was sacked during the winter break by the French club.
Tuchel had led PSG into the knockout stages of the Champions League, finishing top of a group that included Manchester United and RB Leipzig too. Despite that though the French champions currently sit in third place in Ligue 1, one point behind Lyon and Lille.
That was enough to convince chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi to part ways with the man who has won the league in each of his seasons at the club, but also reached the Champions League final as recently as August.
He will be replaced by Pochettino, who has been without a job since being sacked by Tottenham in December 2019.
Often linked with big jobs since, nobody has pulled the trigger until now. Barcelona opted for Ronald Koeman, Juventus opted for Andrea Pirlo, Borussia Dortmund have seemingly opted for Marco Rose from the summer onwards, while Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid all stuck by their manager through tough times.
Since leaving Tottenham though, Pochettino has constantly been linked with the Old Trafford job. One of the main things used against him by fans that don’t think he is ready for that job is his lack of trophies.
At Spurs he made it as far as a Champions League final, but lost to Liverpool. He made it to an FA Cup semi-final on a couple of occasions, but lost to Manchester United and Chelsea. He even managed to finish third in a two horse race in the Premier League, when Leicester managed to be crowned champions of England. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.
But now in France, he will get the opportunity to correct that. He will almost certainly win the league title with the quality of Neymar, Mbappe, Di Maria and co in the squad just far superior to that of the rest of the league.
He’s previously never had a significant transfer budget to work with, but we already know all about PSG’s financial freedom. Pochettino has shown a very stylish taste in player, to play attacking football with possession and speed. He signed Tanguy Ndombele and Heung-Min Son for Tottenham and PSG will enjoy the fact that he has been able to identify talents to play his style.
Poch will win titles with PSG but as we’ve seen it’s all about style and progress to please the Qatari owner. Winning simply isn’t enough. He will be expected to bring European glory to Paris sooner rather than later, but this is the best chance he would have had to deliver on such a task too.
With the profile of player he has, likes and budget he has available to him, you’d be silly to find anyone who doesn’t expect big things from Pochettino in his biggest job yet.