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'The planets aligned' - who is new Chelsea boss Bompastor?

Sonia Bompastor and Emma Hayes graphic
Sonia Bompastor was the first woman to win the Champions League as a player and manager [BBC]

The dust has settled on Emma Hayes’ Chelsea departure and it is time for a new era at the club.

After 12 incredible years in charge and 14 major trophies won, Hayes has taken over as head coach of the United States women's national team, leaving big shoes to fill in west London.

Step forward Sonia Bompastor.

The 43-year-old has been confirmed as Hayes' successor on a four-year deal and leaves Lyon despite having a year remaining on her contract.

With a string of domestic and European honours both as a player and coach under her belt, the former France captain is a serial winner with a proven track record of success.

So what can Chelsea fans expect from Bompastor, what is her management style and is she the right woman to replace Hayes? BBC Sport takes a look with the help of French football expert Julien Laurens.

'One of the greatest players in French football history'

A former midfielder who could also play in defence, Bompastor was capped 156 times by France and had spells with La Roche-sur-Yon, Montpellier, Washington Freedom and Paris St-Germain.

But it was her stellar career over two spells with Lyon - in which she won 11 major trophies and captained them to successive Champions League titles - that Bompastor cemented her legacy as a player.

"To start with she is one of the greatest players we've had in French football history," Laurens told BBC Sport.

"You don't have to have played to be a top coach, but having been there before in every sense of the word, winning everything and playing all those games, it is a massive thing.

"I don't know how many of the Chelsea girls will know the great player she was, but certainly in France she has got that charisma, that character, the reputation and the name."

Sonia Bompastor lifts the Women's Champions League
Bompastor won the Women's Champions League as a player and manager with Lyon [Getty Images]

A trailblazer on and off the pitch, Bompastor retired from playing with Lyon in 2013 and became director of the club's women's academy - a position she held for eight years until becoming the first female coach to take charge of Europe’s most dominant female side.

Her first full season could not have gone much better.

Lyon went unbeaten in the league as they stormed the title, before beating holders Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League final, making Bompastor the first person to win the competition as both a player and a manager and the first female manager since Martina Voss-Tecklenburg in 2009.

She leaves Lyon with three successive league titles and one French Cup triumph among her managerial honours.

"She is made from the same kind of mould as Emma Hayes," Laurens added. "She is made from similar ambition, drive, demands and the attention for detail as well."

What style of football does Bompastor play?

At Lyon, Bompastor was known for her tactical flexibility and in-game adaptability, but has often favoured a 4-3-3 formation.

Her teams dominate possession through quick transitions, control the midfield and exploit the wide areas. Off the ball her teams are solid defensively, with a strong emphasis on pressing for turnovers.

"Tactically, they play really good football," Laurens said.

"You can see the idea, the way they play nice football, the pass-and-move style she always wanted to implement."

Bompastor has been privileged to work with one of, if not the best squad in Europe at Lyon and is no stranger to managing big personalities. She also has a track record of giving younger players a chance and integrating them within the senior team, something Hayes did aplenty at Chelsea.

Her style will be familiar to a number of Chelsea players, with Catarina Macario and Kadeisha Buchanan playing under the Frenchwoman at Lyon.

"She is always wanting more," Laurens said. "Always wanting to win, always hungry, always quite demanding for success as well.

"She can be tough at times, but also she can be friendly. If you need her she is there. She has got so many qualities."

'The best candidate'

Bompastor has the difficult task of trying to build on Hayes’ success, which saw her win seven Women’s Super League titles, five FA Cups and two League Cups during her Chelsea tenure.

Though it is the end of an era, the start of a new one and bringing in a manager of Bompastor’s pedigree should excite fans.

The one trophy that eluded Hayes with Chelsea was the Champions League and appointing Bompastor shows a statement of intent from the club.

"I think there is a lot of pressure and expectation coming after Hayes," Laurens said.

"But if you look at who could have taken over, I think she was the best candidate, I really do.

"Only time and results will tell, but on paper she looks great, she looks like she will fit in."

Sonia Bompastor looks pensive
Bompastor's final game in charge of Lyon was the Women's Champions League final, which Barcelona won 2-0 [Getty Images]

Why now?

Bompastor's Lyon farewell did not go to plan.

It seemed written in the stars that her final game in charge would result in her once again lifting the Women's Champions League, but Barcelona came to spoil the party in Bilbao, beating Lyon 2-0.

So why make the move to Chelsea now?

"She won everything already at Lyon," Laurens said. "She was ready for a new adventure, something bigger. Really there's nothing bigger than Chelsea.

"The French national team was an option, but she's too young for that. She will have many opportunities to take that at some point."

Laurens said it was destiny that the end of Hayes' Chelsea dynasty coincided with Bompastor's desire to pursue a new challenge.

"She always had ambition to go abroad at the end of her contract, it's just because Hayes announced she was leaving that maybe sped things up a bit.

"When the Chelsea job came available, they had already identified her as a candidate. The pieces of the jigsaw just fell really well.

"The planets aligned and she was ready personally, the opportunity came and she was never not going to take it. If Chelsea come knocking right now, I don't think many managers would say no."