Sonia Bompastor: A closer look at the potential new Chelsea manager

Sonia Bompastor lifts the trophy after Lyon won the UEFA Women's Champions League Final
Sonia Bompastor lifts the trophy after Lyon won the UEFA Womens Champions League Final between Barcelona and Lyon on May 21, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Emma Hayes, the revered head coach of Chelsea, surprised fans by announcing her departure to lead the US Women’s National Team, leaving a sense of sadness among Blues supporters worldwide. 

With Hayes aiming to cap off her tenure by pursuing the Women’s Super League and Champions League titles, her potential successors face the daunting task of filling her iconic shoes. 

Sonia Bompastor, who is currently in charge of Olympique Lyonnais, has been heavily tipped to succeed Hayes at Chelsea. In fact, a new report from The Telegraph claims that the Blues have now reached a deal for the 43-year-old to become the new manager this summer.

Bompastor made history as Lyon’s first female head coach in April 2021 and has since guided the team to two Division 1 Féminine titles, three domestic cups, and a Champions League trophy. Notably, she is the first person to win the Women’s Champions League as both a player and a manager.

Is Bompastor the right coach to take Chelsea forward?

The potential move of the 43-year-old French manager from Lyon to London has been a topic of discussion, signalling a significant transition at the end of the season. Bompastor’s successful tenure at Lyon underscores her credentials as a serial winner. It positions her as the ideal candidate to elevate the team’s performance, particularly in European competitions — an area where Hayes’ team has faced challenges in recent years.

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Bompastor boasts a wealth of experience in managing both established stars and emerging talents. This is evident in her Lyon squad, which boasts players like Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and USA captain Lindsey Horan.

Transitioning to Chelsea, Bompastor will assume leadership of a dressing room filled with notable figures such as Sam Kerr and Millie Bright, as well as young talents like Lauren James, Aggie Beever-Jones, and others. However, it could also mean the departure of more senior players as the Blues enter a brand new era.

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Bompastor, renowned for her tactical adaptability, favours a 4-3-3 formation but is equally adept at implementing a 4-2-3-1 or even a 4-2-2 setup when necessary. This mirrors the style established under Hayes in Chelsea’s well-suited squad.

Given these factors, there’s a preference within the dressing room for a female coach to succeed Hayes, and Bompastor appears to be the suitable candidate to step into this significant role.

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