Thomas Tuchel started his managerial career at Mainz and now finds himself at Chelsea and is set to feature in his second successive Champions League final and his talent on the sidelines was always obvious, according to former Southampton executive vice-chairman Les Reed.
Since Saints returned to the Premier League in 2012 they have had seven managers, including Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman who both went on to leave the Saints for other Premier League clubs.
Who would have been better for Southampton?
Tuchel’s rise to the top of European football began when he was appointed as the man to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and after winning the DFB Pokal he parted ways with the Bundesliga outfit and that saw him replace Unai Emery at PSG the following year.
In 2014, Southampton appointed Koeman to succeed Pochettino but Tuchel was certainly on the club’s radar and enquiries were even made to his agent, something Reed told The Transfer Tavern exclusively:
“Thomas Tuchel was an interesting one, in that we were interested in him when he was at Mainz and he did a good job there in terms of getting success from limited resources, and bringing young players through which was something that was important for us.
“The opportunity may have come in 2014 when we appointed Ronald Koeman, and I did make enquiries as I spoke to his agent, and we had quite an interesting conversation as he didn’t feel that Southampton were a big enough club for Thomas Tuchel. However, he also claimed that Tuchel had one eye on the Dortmund situation surrounding Klopp.”
While Tuchel is still yet to win his first piece of silverware at Stamford Bridge he did secure a top-four Premier League finish on Sunday, and has the chance to beat Pep Guardiola for the third time this season when the two sides face each other in Porto this weekend.
For Southampton, it was an ultimately poor season as their early season form flattered to deceive as they finished in the bottom half of the table and just three places off the relegation zone.
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