Roberto de Zerbi: Brighton have appointed the Italian as manager

Roberto de Zerbi guided Shakhtar Donetsk to the Ukrainian Super Cup in 2021

Brighton have appointed former Shakhtar Donetsk and Sassuolo boss Roberto de Zerbi as manager.

The 43-year-old Italian has been out of work since leaving Shakhtar in July because of the war in Ukraine.

De Zerbi has signed a four-year contract at the Amex stadium, with construction permission granted.

He was Brighton’s first choice to replace Graham Potter, who left Take the witness of Thomas Tuchel In Chelsea this month.

Ex-Napoli midfielder De Zerbi, who impressed during his three years at Italian club Sassuolo, has brought with him the coach, although they will all need a work permit.

The coaching set-up is expected to be in place for Brighton’s next game against Liverpool at Anfield on October 1.

“I am absolutely delighted that Roberto has agreed to become our new manager,” said Brighton chairman Tony Bloom.

“Roberto’s teams play an exciting and daring brand of football, and I’m sure his style and tactical approach will suit our team very well.”

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

“In his short time with Shakhtar he enjoyed further success, leading the club to cup success and first place in the Ukrainian league before his time was abruptly interrupted by war.”

De Zerbi is only Brighton’s third permanent manager since Sami Hyypiak resigned in 2014.

Fourth in the Premier League, they have not played since Potter’s departure, having postponed games against Bournemouth and Crystal Palace.


BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

De Zerbi was the only candidate Brighton talked about.

His availability is the main factor but he also has an appeal in his work with Sassuolo.

Eighth place in Serie A means finishing above successively ranked clubs, which is exactly what Brighton did last season after finishing in ninth place in the Premier League.

Had the goal difference not been slightly worse, Sassuolo would have qualified for the European Conference last season rather than Roma, who won under Jose Mourinho.

Matches against Liverpool and Tottenham represent a tough start to De Zerbi’s tenure at Brighton and, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal facing each other before the World Cup, he will do well to keep Brighton close to their current position.

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