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Will Maresca follow in footsteps of other Pep pupils?

Chelsea are moving closer to naming Mauricio Pochettino's successor, with Leicester City boss Enzo Maresca looking set to be the club's third permanent appointment in two years.

While many onlookers are still wondering why Pochettino left by "mutual agreement", the Blues have been honing in on what they see to be the next best fit.

Going in the direction of a head coach untested yet in the top flight might seem like a gamble, but the Chelsea hierarchy are banking on the 44-year-old's tutelage under Pep Guardiola.

Maresca spent 12 months as Manchester City assistant coach learning from one of the greatest managers in club football. The Italian then made the move to the East Midlands, guiding Leicester to the Championship title and promotion with 97 points.

Labelled as a "great man-manager" and "tactically incredible" by Foxes midfielder Harry Winks, Todd Boehly and co see Maresca following in the footsteps of other coaches who achieved success after learning from Guardiola.

So who else graduated from Pep school?

Graphic showing trophies for managers who have been coached by and/or with Pep Guardiola: Xavi 9, Erik ten Hag 9, Mikel Arteta 3, Xabi Alonso 2, Enzo Maresca 1, Vincent Kompany 1
[BBC]

Xavi

The outgoing Barcelona manager spent four succesful years under the guidance of Guardiola as a player at the Nou Camp.

When Guardiola took over in 2008, he told Xavi he did not "see this team without you in it".

Xavi took his first coaching steps in Qatar, where he led his Al Sadd side to seven trophies, before becoming Barcelona boss in November 2021 and winning La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup in 2023.

Erik ten Hag

The Manchester United boss' future may be in the balance, but it is hard to argue with his managerial successes.

The Dutchman began his coaching career in 2012 at Go Ahead Eagles, leading the club to promotion in his debut season. He then joined Bayern Munich II in 2013, winning promotion to the Regionalliga Bayern in 2014, and where he spent time studying then first-team manager Guardiola.

He took his learning back to the Eredivisie, winning three titles and two KNVB Cups with Ajax before joining the Red Devils, with whom he has won two domestic cups.

Mikel Arteta

Guardiola and Arteta's relationship goes back a long way to when they first met at Barcelona.

In 2016, Arteta joined Guardiola as part of his backroom staff at Manchester City and spent three years there.

Taking over from the sacked Unai Emery at Arsenal in 2019, the Spaniard won the FA Cup in his first season and has finished runners-up to Guardiola's side in the Premier League for two consecutive campaigns.

Xabi Alonso

Alonso's time learning from Guardiola was spent as a player at Bayern Munich and his first move into management could not have gone much better.

Taking over at Bayer Leverkusen, the former Liverpool midfielder led the Bundesliga side to their first league title and the German Cup in his debut campaign. They lost one game all season - the Europa League final to Atalanta.

Vincent Kompany

The current Burnley boss had three successful seasons as captain under Guardiola's management at City before he left to become player-coach at Anderlecht.

His time managing in Belgium was not spectacular, but he led the Clarets to the Championship title with 101 points in 2022-23.

Despite Premier League relegation 12 months later, Kompany is in line to take over at Bayern Munich.

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[BBC]