Connect with us


Enzo Maresca’s Chelsea era gets underway ahead of United States tour

New Chelsea manager Enzo Maresca completed his first training season at Cobham on Monday despite lacking numerous first-team stars due to the ongoing Copa America and Euro 2024.

Maresca helped Leicester City earn Premier League promotion last season before moving to Stamford Bridge to replace Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino.

The 44-year-old will hope to last longer than his predecessor, who left West London after just one year despite arriving at the club with lofty ambitions.

Several notable first-team stars welcomed the new boss at Cobham.

Levi Colwill, Nicolas Jackson, Raheem Sterling and Mykhailo Mudryk were among the top Chelsea stars to report for duty on the first day of pre-season training.

Joining last season’s stalwarts at the beginning of the Blues’ pre-season preparations were summer arrivals Tosin Adarabioyo, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Omari Kellyman.

Equally important was the return of numerous senior stars who endured an injury-hit 2023/24 campaign.

Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Reece James, Romeo Lavia and Christopher Nkunku spent most of last season on the sidelines.

They hope to build their fitness ahead of the 2024/25 campaign, especially Nkunku, who was supposed to be the Blues’ leader after swapping RB Leipzig for Chelsea 12 months ago.

While waiting for Copa America and European Championship participants to return to the fold, Maresca can evaluate the condition of the returning squad following a brief summer break.

Chelsea’s first pre-season friendly pits them against lower-league headline-grabbers Wrexham on July 25 before encountering Celtic at Notre Dame University Stadium two days later.

Both those matches are part of the Blues’ United States tour, which includes three more duels against Mexican powerhouse Club America and familiar foes Manchester City and Real Madrid.

Four days after returning from the States, Chelsea will host new Serie A champions Inter Milan at Stamford Bridge for their final warm-up fixture.

More in Chelsea