Rumours were doing the rounds in Spain a few days ago and now it's official, Mauricio Pochettino is the new Southampton manager after the club sacked Nigel Adkins. But why have Saints opted for Pochettino? talkSPORT run the rule over the Argentine...
1) Born in the distinctly Irish-sounding town of Murphy in Argentina, Pochettino was a successful defender in his playing days, beginning at Newell’s Old Boys in 1988 in his homeland. After winning domestic titles in Argentina, he moved to Espanyol in 1994 and won two Copa del Rey trophies and also made 20 appearances for his country, including three games at the 2002 World Cup, before retiring from the game in 2006.
2) Pochettino began his coaching career as an assistant at Espanyol's women's football team in 2008, then a year later the club made the surprise decision to appoint him as first team coach of the men's side.
3) When he took charge of the Espanyol first team, the Catalans were third from bottom of La Liga. Pochettino turned their season around, however, with the side eventually finishing 10th.
4) The 2009/10 season saw Espanyol make steady progress under the Argentine, particularly after the coach brought in striker Pablo Osvaldo on loan from Bologna. Osvaldo scored seven league goals for Espanyol in the second half of the season, finishing the campaign as their top scorer.
5) A season later saw the culmination of Pochettino's hard work, with his minnows pushing for a European place for much of the season. In the end, the Catalans finished eighth, just outside the Europa League spots after a late surge from Atletico Madrid, who edged them to the final slot.
6) Pochettino's good work at Espanyol led to strong links with the Real job as many in Spain considered him a natural Pep Guardiola-like figure who could lead the Spanish giants. In early 2012, TV show Punto Pelota even claimed Pochettino had been approached to take over from Jose Mourinho at the end of the season, should the Portuguese manager choose not to renew his contract at the Bernabeu. However, Mourinho ultimatley extended his deal by two years in May, making him coach until 2016.
7) The loss of key players like Osvaldo, Jose Callejon, Javi Marquez and keeper Carlos Kameni had a severe impact on Espanyol's fortunes, particularly after the side's hierarchy failed to grant sufficient funds to strengthen in the summer of 2012. As a result, the club's start to the 2012/13 season was poor and both Pochettino and Espanyol eventually agreeed to part company in November.
Pochettino masterminded Espanyol's 1-1 draw with Barca in early 2012, helping to end their local rival's title hopes
Southampton fans, does Pochettino deserve a chance? Let us know below...