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Graham Potter expresses pride at working with 'exciting' Chelsea after being handed five-year deal

Graham Potter says he is ‘incredibly proud’ to take over Chelsea after being given a five-year deal to replace Thomas Tuchel… as the former Brighton boss admits he enjoys working with his ‘exciting’ new squad

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Graham Potter spoke of his incredible pride after being confirmed as Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea successor.

Potter has been given a five-year deal, underscoring that Chelsea’s new owners have long-term plans with the 47-year-old.

They labeled Potter an ‘innovator’ and he will take charge of Fulham for the first time on Saturday – should Premier League games continue after the Queen’s death.

Graham Potter has been given a five-year contract as the new manager of Stamford Bridge

Graham Potter has been given a five-year contract as the new manager of Stamford Bridge

Potter was hired after Thomas Tuchel's resignation from Chelsea on Wednesday

Potter was hired after Thomas Tuchel's resignation from Chelsea on Wednesday

Potter was hired after Thomas Tuchel’s resignation from Chelsea on Wednesday

Chelsea sprang into action quickly to land Potter from Brighton after they had time for Tuchel’s government on Wednesday morning.

He quickly emerged as the club’s clear first-choice, with former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim as other managers considered.

The speed with which the trial went convinced some in Brighton that Potter had been in Chelsea’s crosshairs for a while.

Potter impressed in talks with co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali on Wednesday, having been cleared to speak with Chelsea earlier in the day after they agreed to pay his £15million escape clause.

Negotiations closed on Thursday to make Potter the first managerial appointment of Chelsea’s Boehly-Clearlake Capital era.

Potter impressed in talks with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly before being offered the job

Potter impressed in talks with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly before being offered the job

Potter impressed in talks with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly before being offered the job

After saying goodbye to Brighton’s players and staff yesterday morning, who were saddened by his departure after just over three years at Amex, Potter arrived at Chelsea’s Cobham headquarters in the afternoon before his appointment was announced.

Potter said: ‘I am incredibly proud and excited to represent Chelsea, this fantastic club.

“I am very excited to be working with Chelsea’s new ownership group and look forward to meeting and working with the exciting group of players and developing a team and culture that our amazing fans can be proud of.

“I would also like to express my sincere thanks to Brighton & Hove Albion for giving me this opportunity and in particular to Tony Bloom and all the players, staff and supporters for their continued support during my time at the club.”

Potter has brought along Brighton assistant Billy Reid, coaches Bjorn Hamberg, Bruno and goalkeeping coach Ben Roberts plus the Seagulls’ assistant recruiting head Kyle Macaulay.

Brighton’s new coaching staff will consist of veteran midfielder Adam Lallana who will support interim head coach Andrew Crofts.

England international Adam Lallana joins Brighton's interim coaching staff

England international Adam Lallana joins Brighton's interim coaching staff

England international Adam Lallana joins Brighton’s interim coaching staff

Crofts is temporarily stepping out of his Under 21 role and he will be aided by assistant Shannon Ruth, set play coach Nick Stanley and assistant goalkeeper coach Jack Stern.

Boehly said of former Ostersunds and Swansea boss Potter: “We are delighted to bring Graham to Chelsea. He is a proven coach and an innovator in the Premier League who fits our vision for the club.

“Not only is he extremely talented on the pitch, he has skills and abilities that extend beyond the pitch, making Chelsea a more successful club.

“He has had a big 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 the coming months and years to realize their full potential.”

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