Who Is Sebastian Hoeness? Chelsea Shortlist Germany’s Rising Star To Succeed Mauricio Pochettino

Stuttgart boss Sebastian Hoeness is on a shortlist of candidates to succeed Mauricio Pochettino, and football.london has all the information you need about the Bundesliga manager. Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino have parted ways by mutual consent after just one season.....Read The Full Story Here ▶

The Argentine’s departure from Stamford Bridge means the Blues will be looking for a third permanent manager in two years. A number of names have been linked with the Chelsea job, including Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna and former Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi.

One left-field candidate is Stuttgart manager Sebastian Hoeness, and football.londonunderstands that he is one of four managers on a shortlist to replace Pochettino. Below is a detailed look at the German and what he could bring to Chelsea…

Career so far

Hoeness (also spelt Hoeneß in German) was an attacking midfielder during his playing career. He featured for TSV Ottobrunn, TSV Grotzingen and VfB Stuttgart during his youth career, scoring 29 goals in 172 appearances across reserve and first-team football, spending the majority of his time at Hertha Berlin. His first coaching job came at FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf’s Under-19 team in July 2011, a year after his retirement from playing.

The 42-year-old went on to coach youth teams at RB Leipzig (2014-2017) and Bayern Munich (2017-2020). In 2019, Hoeness took over as the coach of Bayern’s reserve team, Bayern II, and led them to their first 3. Liga title – winning himself the league’s manager of the season award in the process.

Following that success, Hoeness was appointed Hoffenheim boss in August 2020 – the very club he had joined as a player in 2006. He managed 81 games in Baden-Wurttemberg, averaging 1.42 points per game until he and the club parted ways at the end of the 2012/22 season after finishing ninth in the Bundesliga.

Following a break, Hoeness became VfB Stuttgart boss in April 2023 – the club at which he had been a youth player. He helped them avoid the drop by climbing from bottom of the table and beating Hamburg in the relegation play-offs. During his first full season in charge, he sensationally led the club into the Champions League after finishing second in the table, edging out Bayern on the final day to finish runners-up to the unbeaten champions Bayer Leverkusen.

Tactics and style of play

Hoeness’s Stuttgart mainly played with a 4-4-2 and a 4-2-3-1 formation in the 2023/24 season. His team have a balanced approach, excelling in both attack and defence according to Totalfootballanalysis. According to WhoScored, Stuttgart enjoyed 60 per cent possession on average during their 2023/24 Bundesliga games, with passing accuracy of 87% and a penchant for creating chances using through balls and individual skill.

Based on the stats, it’s fair to say Hoeness prioritises a possession-based game built on controlling play and using skilled passers to break the lines. Stuttgart’s star man Deniz Undav scored 18 goals and assisted nine more last season, so he could be on Chelsea’s transfer radar if Hoeness makes the switch to west London.

Stuttgart conceded just 39 goals in 34 Liga games in 2023/34, tying with RB Leipzig for the joint second-best defensive record behind Leverkusen (24 conceded). They also scored 78 goals, behind only Leverkusen (89) and Bayern (94) for the third-best goal difference in the league (+39). The Bundesliga’s official website compares Hoeness to Hansi Flick in terms of his setup, in-game switches and trust in younger players.

Contract

Following Stuttgart’s stellar 2023/24 campaign, Hoeness signed a contract extension until summer 2027.

Famous family

The famous name is no coincidence. Sebastian is the son of former Germany international Dieter Hoeness, who played over 400 games for teams including Stuttgart and Bayern. Dieter won five Bundesliga titles at Bayern, scoring over 100 goals and was top scorer of the European Cup in 1982 as Bayern finished runners-up, while he also has a World Cup runners-up medal with West Germany in 1986.

As a manager Dieter won the Bundesliga in charge of Stuttgart in 1992, so Sebastian is well and truly following in his father’s footsteps… and that’s not all. Dieter’s brother, and Sebastian’s uncle, is none other than German legend Uli Hoeness! Uli notched over 100 goals in a trophy-laden career as well, winning the World Cup with West Germany in 1974 and well as the 1972 Euros. Throw in Uli’s three Bundesliga titles and three European cups at Bayern, and it’s clear that Sebastian comes from true footballing royalty.

What Hoeness has said

In April, Hoeness was quoted by @MiaSanMia as saying: “You can definitely assume that I will also be the coach of VfB Stuttgart next year. If I had the idea of moving, then I certainly wouldn’t have extended my contract. I’m here out of conviction because I have the feeling that we can develop something together here. Nothing has changed from my perspective.”

After extending his contract: “For me, VfB is a special club. Even as a little boy, I sat here in the stadium and cheered for VfB. I also wore the coat of arms on my chest for three years as a youth player around 25 years ago and became German champion with VfB U17. For me, VfB means emotion – something very special.”

Verdict

football.london says: “Hoeness would represent a huge risk having never coached outside of Germany, whilst also never winning a major trophy as a manager. However, Pochettino enjoyed very little silverware success during his career but the Blues opted to appoint him anyway.

“His work at Stuttgart is exceptional having finished above Bundesliga giants Bayern with a final-day victory over Borussia Monchengladbach, though his devotion to his boyhood club could make an exit a tough sell with Champions League football to come. At this stage it is probably too big a risk for Chelsea to take.”

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