- Roberto De Zerbi is the new manager for Brighton, replacing the Brilliant Graham Potter who joined Chelsea
- The 43-year-old Italian is known for his 'heavy metal' possession-based football and is hoping to continue with Potter's work
- De Zerbi last managed in Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine before the Russian invasion early this year
A few days after their manager Graham Potter left for Chelsea, Brighton have finally hired former Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi as their new manager.
De Zerbi's appointment has been hailed by many fans and pundits on social media, saying that he was the best choice to take over from Potter.
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Although De Zerbi is not a household name, his appointment to the Premier League brings a lot of excitement among neutral fans, according to Football Italia.
Therefore, let us dissect the enigma that is Roberto de Zerbi. Here are five things you may not know about him.
As a player, the 43-year-old AC Milan academy graduate didn't have a successful career as he'd wished. Still, he played for top Italian clubs including Napoli. In 2010, he joined Romanian side Cluj, playing five times in the Champions League including against Bayern Munich and AS Roma.
De Zerbi is known for his front-foot and heavy metal style that top European sides employ. During his three-year spell with Sassuolo, De Zerbi's side usually punched way above their weight which helped them finish eighth in two successive seasons. Therefore, we should expect a similar style to Brighton.
War in Ukraine
After leaving Sassuolo in May 2021, he joined Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine made things worse and he had to leave due to the instability.
Once the war broke out, De Zerbi decided to wait for all foreign players to leave the besieged country before he left for Italy with his staff.
De Zerbi is a huge admirer of Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola. In 2021 the Italian controversially said that he would rather lose the Champions League with Guardiola than win it with another coach.
De Zerbi had dinner with Guardiola in Manchester last month together with Danielle de Rossi.
Respect for former Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic
De Zerbi was touted to replace sacked Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic but he refused to take the job. He said it was out of respect for Mihajlovic because he was being treated for leukaemia for the second time in three years.
Chelsea appoint Potter
Sports Brief earlier reported on Chelsea's appointment of Graham Potter as Blues' new manager, leaving the Seagulls after three years.
Potter leaves Brighton in a better place than he found them, giving them an identity and a reputation as a tough tactical team.