Just about twelve months ago, Leonid Slutsky turned up at Stamford Bridge, fresh off his resignation at CSKA Moscow, which followed his resignation from the Russian national team six months prior. The official line was that Chelsea (and specifically his friend Roman Abramovich) were helping him find a job in England, helping him learn the language and the football culture. It was easy to speculate that something a bit more sinister was happening behind the scenes — echoes of Avram Grant could be easily heard — but Conte eventually signed his extension and Slutsky got himself hired at Hull City.
Six months later, Slutsky is out at Hull with the club dropping to just three points above the relegation zone after having won just four games all season and only two since the beginning of September. Hull’s third-best attack in the division (34 goals scored) was let down by the third-worst defence (37 conceded), which incidentally featured no less than three Chelsea loanees in Michael Hector, Fikayo Tomori, and Ola Aina. How this development impacts their immediate futures remains to be seen, but chances are it won’t be all that positive.
As far as Slutsky’s future, it’s once again very easy to connect a few dots, especially with the Chelsea technical director position vacant since Michael Emenalo’s resignation a few weeks ago. Slutsky left Hull by mutual consent, which could indicate that he has plans lined up for his next move already.
“Leonid has worked tirelessly in his role and has acted with complete honour and been a pleasure to work with. Unfortunately results have not improved as both parties would have hoped and therefore it was agreed for the relationship to come to an end.
“I would like to thank Leonid and [Head of Club Strategy] Oleg [Yarovinsky] for their efforts here and sincerely wish them well for the future.”
-Ehab Allam, Vice-chairman; source: Hull City AFC
Even if he doesn’t take over in any official capacity, it would not be surprising to see Slutsky back at Cobham in some sort of unofficial advisory role.
Suddenly, Leonid Slutsky finds himself on the market. Wonder if he knows the way to the Avram Grant Memorial Suite...— Dan Levene (@danlevene) December 3, 2017
Chelsea had been tenuously linked with a few ex-players (Lampard, Drogba, chief among them) as well as former Monaco technical director Luis Campos as replacements for Emenalo. Slutsky was mentioned as well; time to (re-)start those rumors now.