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Brighton appoint Italian Roberto De Zerbi as new head coach on four-year deal

The 43-year-old former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss agreed final contractual terms late on Sunday afternoon.

Roberto De Zerbi [file photo].
Roberto De Zerbi [file photo].
Image: Pavlo Bahmut

BRIGHTON HAVE APPOINTED Roberto De Zerbi as their new head coach on a four-year contract.

The 43-year-old former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss agreed final contractual terms – subject to work permit – late on Sunday afternoon on a deal to succeed Graham Potter, who departed for Chelsea earlier this month.

De Zerbi met with club owner Tony Bloom, chief executive Paul Barber and technical director David Weir in London earlier this week and flew into Sussex on Friday night before watching a behind-closed-doors friendly at the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

As a mark of respect to the Queen, De Zerbi will not be formally introduced to the media until Tuesday afternoon.

Bloom said: “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.”

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

“In his short spell with Shakhtar he enjoyed further success, leading the club to cup success and topping the Ukrainian league before the war brought an abrupt
halt to his time there.

“We are delighted to welcome Roberto and we look forward to introducing him to our squad as well as providing all the support he needs to introduce his coaching philosophy and help the players continue their brilliant start to the season.”

Barber, who is also deputy chairman, said: “We looked at a range of excellent candidates but Roberto was our number one choice from the start and the only person we spoke to.

“It’s no secret our chairman is constantly monitoring potential coaches, both here in our domestic leagues, throughout Europe and across the world as part of our succession planning work.

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“We feel Roberto is the ideal cultural and technical fit for Brighton & Hove Albion, and the right person to continue the club’s progress and work with this
outstanding group of players.”

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