Brighton appoint Italian Roberto De Zerbi as Graham Potter’s replacement

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By Martin Graham | 19th Sep 2022

Roberto De Zerbi has been appointed as the new manager of Brighton. The former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss has signed a four-year contract with the Premier League side.

One of the bright lights of the season in the Premier League has been Brighton & Hove Albion. The modest club has been punching above their weight. They have looked unfazed by the resume of some of its more illustrious opponents this season.

Their fantastic start to the season has seen Brighton attract admiration, especially for their charismatic manager Graham Potter. A couple of weeks ago, Chelsea fired its manager, and for a replacement, signed Brighton manager Graham Potter.

The departure of Graham Potter left a massive vacuum at Brighton, and the club set out to replace the manager that has raised their status this season. Brighton have signed a new manager. Roberto De Zerbi has been appointed head coach for the next four years.

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Roberto De Zerbi takes over as Brighton boss

Graham Potter left for Chelsea, and Brighton have now hired Roberto De Zerbi on a four-year deal to take over as head coach.

The arrangement for the Italian to succeed Graham Potter was reached late on Sunday afternoon.

In London earlier this week, the 43-year-old spoke with club owner Tony Bloom, CEO Paul Barber, and technical director David Weir.

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De Zerbi arrived in Sussex by plane on Friday evening and spent Saturday afternoon at the Amex Stadium to see a friendly match behind closed doors.

The Italian manager won’t be formally introduced to the media until Tuesday afternoon out of respect for the Queen.

There are concerns in various circles about the Italian’s ability to build on Graham Potter’s legacy at the club.

Reactions to De Zerbi appointment

Club owner Tony Bloom is excited at the signing of the new coach. Bloom said he is thrilled that the Italian agreed to join a club like Brighton and is enthusiastic about what he can deliver for the club. Bloom continued that De Zerbi’s teams play exciting and courageous football. He believes the style and tactical approach of the new manager will suit what they have at Brighton.

Weir was also full of praise for Roberto. He said De Zerbi proved his worth with his work in Italy and Ukraine. He concludes that the work he did at Sassuolo is outstanding.

Roberto De Zerbi spent a short time at Shakhtar Donetsk, but he still enjoyed success on the Ukrainian side. Roberto led Shakhtar to cup success and was top of the log in the Ukrainian league before the war brought an end to football.

The club, in a statement, said they are delighted to have the Italian with them. They look forward to introducing him to the squad and also providing the necessary support he needs to imprint his philosophy to help the players continue their fantastic start to the season.

Deputy chairman Barber said the club had several brilliant options for the position. De Zerbi was always their number one choice and is the reason they spoke to only the Italian.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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