Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker believes Tottenham and Chelsea linked manager Mauricio Pochettino is up there with Pep Guardiola as one of the best managers he has played under.
Pochettino, who had a successful stint as Spurs boss between 2014 and 2019, has been linked with a return to the club following the sacking of Conte, but according to reports, chairman Daniel Levy is not willing to hire him back despite him wanting to return.
This has left the door open for Chelsea to swoop in and sign Pochettino as their new manager. According to reports, Pochettino has impressed the Chelsea owners during talks, making him the frontrunner for the job.
It is unclear why Levy is reportedly uninterested in rehiring Pochettino, who helped transform Tottenham into a consistent top-four side and led them to a Champions League final. Pochettino is also well-liked by fans and some players who reportedly want to work with him again.
Walker, who played under Pochettino during his time at Tottenham, spoke highly of the manager during an interview on the Official Manchester City Podcast.
When asked who is the best manager he has played under, he said:
“It’s between Pochettino and Pep, I think Pep has evolved my game and my understanding in terms of wasting energy where I don’t need to end it. I signed as a wing-back and now I’m in a back three. Would I have been able to do that with England if I was still under the Pochettino system? No, I would have been too attacking,”
Walker’s comments come as a testament to how highly regarded Pochettino is among players. His ability to develop young talent and implement a high-pressing, attacking style of play have earned him a reputation as one of the best managers in the game.
With Pochettino now close to joining Chelsea, the Blues will be getting a top-class manager who can transform them into a force to reckon with once again if given time.