Chelsea sacked Thomas Tuchel earlier this week after his side were beaten by Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener – with Graham Potter swiftly appointed to replace him.
Thomas Tuchel admits he is “devastated” to leave Chelsea, but the club will retain a “special place” in his heart.
The German was dismissed as Blues boss this week, just seven games into the new season. Tuchel guided Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2020, but was axed by new owner Todd Boehly and swiftly replaced by Graham Potter.
Tuchel has now taken to social media for the first time since last Wednesday’s surprising developments and revealed he had hoped to stay at Stamford Bridge for a number of years longer.
“This is one of the most difficult statements I have ever had to write – and it is one which I hoped I would not need to do for many years. I am devastated that my time at Chelsea has come to an end.
“This is a club where I felt at home, both professionally and personally. Thank you so much to all the staff, the players and the supporters for making me feel very welcome from the start.
“The pride and joy I felt at helping the team to win the Champions League and the Club World Cup will stay with me forever. I am honoured to have been a part of this club’s history and the memories of the last 19 months will always have a special place in my heart.”
The decision to sack Tuchel came out of left-field considering speculation that he was to extend his contract came as recently as August.The 49-year-old managed the Premier League giants throughout the tumultuous period which saw them placed under special measures following sanctions placed on former owner Roman Abramovich.
Those restrictions introduced by the UK government meant Chelsea were unable to negotiate new contracts with a variety of stars, leaving an exodus during the summer window. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both left on free transfers, with Tuchel tasked with replenishing their defensive options.
And Boehly backed his manager during his first window as owner and sanctioned a spending spree of more than £200m. In fact, Chelsea were striking deals right up until the end of the deadline, less than a week before he was sacked.
Following Tuchel’s exit, Boehly quickly identified Brighton boss Potter as his number one choice to replace him and less than 36 hours later, he had signed a five-year deal.
“We are thrilled to bring Graham to Chelsea. He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the Club,” Boehly said after Potter’s arrival.
“Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and capabilities that extend beyond the pitch which will make Chelsea a more successful Club. He has had a major impact at his previous Clubs and we look forward to his positive impact at Chelsea.
“We look forward to supporting him, his coaching team and the squad in realising their full potential in the coming months and years.”