BRIGHTON – Brighton & Hove Albion have appointed former Sassuolo boss Roberto De Zerbi as their new head coach on a four-year contract following the departure of Graham Potter, the Premier League club announced on Sunday.

The Italian, 43, started his managerial career in the country’s lower leagues before he caught the eye of Serie A side Sassuolo, guiding them to successive eighth-placed finishes in the league before departing for Shakhtar Donetsk in May 2021.

A former Napoli midfielder, De Zerbi led Shakhtar to the Ukrainian Super Cup last year before his time at the club was cut short following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Shakhtar were top of the domestic league when it was halted due to the war.

“I am absolutely thrilled Roberto has agreed to become our new head coach. Roberto’s teams play an exciting and courageous brand of football, and I am confident his style and tactical approach will suit our existing squad superbly,” said Brighton chairman Tony Bloom.

De Zerbi takes over from Potter, who left for Chelsea earlier this month after three highly successful seasons in charge. The Englishman helped Brighton to ninth place last season – their highest-ever finish in the top flight.

“Roberto has shown his undoubted ability with his work in Italy and Ukraine, and what he achieved at Sassuolo certainly stands out,” said Brighton technical director David Weir.

“We look forward to providing all the support he needs to introduce his coaching philosophy and help the players continue their brilliant start to the season.

De Zerbi will be officially unveiled before the media on Tuesday.

Brighton, fourth in the league standings with 13 points from six games, next travel to Liverpool on Oct 1, after the international break. REUTERS

Last modified: September 19, 2022