Forgotten Chelsea star, who was axed entirely by Mauricio Pochettino, ‘likes’ an Instagram post announcing the manager’s exit after training with the club’s kids on £100,000 per week

Chelsea have risked a dressing room revolt with the sudden axing of Mauricio Pochettino – but the news is being welcomed by at least one of their players.

Pochettino was relieved of his duties on Tuesday afternoon by mutual agreement, 48 hours after his final game, despite being popular in the Chelsea dressing room.

And while supporters have been divided over the former Tottenham manager’s presence on the touchline there is one player who his exit appears to be popular with.

Malang Sarr, the French centre back signed by Chelsea on a five-year contract in 2020, was spotted ‘liking’ the club’s Instagram post about Pochettino’s agreed departure on Tuesday.

Sarr, 25, has one year remaining on his £100,000-per-week deal at the club but has been exiled from the first team entirely by Pochettino after being deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino has been relieved of his duties by Chelsea after one year in charge

Malang Sarr (left) has been kept out of the first-team picture entirely under Pochettino

Malang Sarr (left) has been kept out of the first-team picture entirely under Pochettino

Earlier this year The Athletic reported that Sarr no longer has a locker in the first-team building at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground and gets changed to train with the Under 21s instead.

He has not been involved in matches for Under 21s and when they have games he trains alone or with other youth squads.

A source said: ‘I have never seen him as low as this. This is the first time I have seen him like this. He tries to change his mental state, but it is hard when you are not playing. He is not in the first-team dressing room anymore, he is with the kids in the other building.

‘He feels outside the group. He tries to hide his feelings, but I know him, what he is really feeling.

Sarr 'liked' a post about Pochettino leaving the club on Instagram on Tuesday

Sarr ‘liked’ a post about Pochettino leaving the club on Instagram on Tuesday

‘He loved playing under Tuchel. But some of the closest friends he made, like N’Golo Kante and Mason Mount, have left. He goes to train because it is his job but I know he finds it very hard because any footballer who knows they are not going to play matches will find it difficult.’

Chelsea signed Sarr as a promising young player on a free transfer from in 2020 before he moved on loan to Porto and later Monaco.

He broke into Tuchel’s squad in the 2021-22 season as a regular back-up option and played in Chelsea’s Club World Cup semi-final victory over Al-Hilal in Abu Dhabi.

But he has been out of the picture entirely since Tuchel’s exit and suffered the ignominy of Pochettino responding ‘Who?’ when asked about him in a press conference this season.

Sarr tried to secure a move to Le Havre back in his homeland in January but the transfer fell through.

Le Havre director Mathieu Bodmer later said: ‘What they did to him was disgraceful. With just a few details still to be worked out, they did a U-turn. They gave the youngster the go-ahead to travel, and a financial agreement had been reached for the eighteen months of his remaining contract at Chelsea.

‘However, on several occasions, they went back on their agreement, and then gave it again. And once the player had agreed to make a big effort, to come to us on a tiny salary, just to play football, they blocked him.’

Sources close to Chelsea refute Le Havre’s depiction of the events in January.