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 are risking a dressing room revolt with the sudden sacking of Mauricio Pochettino, but the news has been welcomed by at least one of their players.

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

And while supporters are divided over the former Tottenham manager’s presence on the sidelines, there is one player whose departure appears to be popular.

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

Sarr, 25, has one year left on his £100,000-a-week contract at the club but has been banned from the first-team completely by Pochettino after being deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino has been sacked by Chelsea after a year in charge

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

Malang Sarr (left) has been completely left out of the first team under Pochettino

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

He has not been involved in Under 21 matches and when there are matches he trains alone or with other youth teams.

A source said: ‘I’ve never seen him so low. This is the first time I’ve seen him like this. He’s trying to change his mental state, but it’s hard when you’re not playing. He is no longer in the first team dressing room, 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 really feels.

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

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

‘He loved playing under Tuchel. But some of the best 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 difficult, because any footballer who knows he is not going to play matches will find it difficult.’

Chelsea signed Sarr as a promising young player on a free transfer from 2020 before loaning him out to Porto and later Monaco.

He was part of Tuchel’s squad as a regular reserve in the 2021-2022 season and played in the semi-final of Chelsea’s Club World Cup victory over Al-Hilal in Abu Dhabi.

But he has disappeared entirely from the picture since Tuchel’s departure and has suffered the shame of Pochettino replying: ‘Who?’ when asked about him at a press conference this season.

Sarr tried to secure a move to Le Havre in his home country in January, but the transfer fell through.

Le Havre director Mathieu Bodmer later said: ‘What they did to him was disgraceful. With only a few details to be worked out, they made a U-turn. They cleared the youngster to travel and a financial agreement was reached for the 18 months of his remaining Chelsea contract.

‘But several times they went back on their agreement and then gave it again. And once the player agreed to make a big effort, to come to us on a small salary, just to play football, they blocked him.”

Sources close to Chelsea refute Le Havre’s account of January events.