It will be a year on Friday since Chelsea made Graham Potter the most expensive manager in world football by paying Brighton £21.5 million to hire him and key members of his staff.

The appointment was meant to be a watershed moment for English coaches, but just seven months later Chelsea ripped up ‘project Potter’ and the 48-year-old will reflect on the one-year anniversary while out of work – although not for a lack of interest.

Written off as an expensive flop by the time he was dismissed, the intervening five months shine a new light on Potter’s time at Stamford Bridge and offer further context of what he was up against.

There are plenty in the game who believe Potter was dispensed with far too quickly, astonished he did not at least get a pre-season to properly implement his ideas, and many who would be prepared to offer him a quick route back – such as French club Lyon, who he recently met, but the timing was not right.

Potter’s name will inevitably get linked with every Premier League job that becomes available when sacking season comes around, but it would be unwise to think he will jump back in at the bottom end of the table.

At Chelsea, Potter got past Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, beat AC Milan home and away and never got the chance to go up against Real Madrid. He will feel he has unfinished business in that competition and there will, in time, be clubs, either in the Champions League or with aspirations of qualifying for it, who will want to meet him.

Were he to sit out the entire season, then Potter’s name would also be near the top of possible successors to England manager Gareth Southgate should a change be required after next summer’s European Championship. But the right club opportunity may be more appealing at this stage of his career.

Potter has kept a low profile since leaving the 24/7 spotlight of Stamford Bridge, returning to his former club Ostersunds for a game against Sundsvall in July and visiting other sports teams and franchises to aid his development.

One Premier League data model rated Chelsea as a top-four side under Potter on statistics alone and those who have been successful in trusting the figures are adamant luck and results would have eventually turned in his favour.

We will never know whether that would have been the case and many will still argue that Potter and Chelsea were a mismatch that would not have worked out, but his career should certainly not be defined by their time together.

Potter would have found Chelsea’s defeat by Nottingham Forest, under Mauricio Pochettino, pretty familiar on Saturday.

His final game in charge against Aston Villa, which ended in a fatal 2-0 defeat, saw Chelsea enjoy 69 per cent of possession, have 15 shots off target, eight on target and finish the game with an expected goals of 2.16.

Pochettino’s team lost by one less goal to Forest, enjoyed a higher possession percentage of 76.1 and expected goals of 2.3, but managed just six shots off target and two on it.

Chelsea were booed off the pitch, something that became a regular occurrence towards the end of Potter’s reign, and Pochettino stressed the importance of patience and a recognition the club’s rebuild will need time in his post-match interviews.

This may well have raised a wry smile from Potter, given the lack of time he was afforded and the circumstances in which he worked at Chelsea.

Influx of signings made Potter’s job impossible

Chelsea have won one of their first four games, losing twice at the start of this season and yet, sensibly, there is widespread recognition that Pochettino is not to blame for a slow start following a transfer window in which the club have ripped up the squad and started again.

Potter went unbeaten in his first nine games as Chelsea head coach, including the victories over Milan, and lost three Premier League games between his appointment and the break for the World Cup, which came against Brighton, Arsenal and Newcastle United.

Then Chelsea spent over £300 million in the January transfer window and what was already a tough job was made practically impossible as players kept coming through the door, but hardly any headed out of the exit.

As is now the stuff of Stamford Bridge legend, players were forced to change in corridors because the changing-room at the club’s Cobham training ground was not big enough to accommodate all the recruits and existing players even struggled to remember the names and identities of their new team-mates.

Potter could not name all of his players in his Champions League squad and it has since been suggested that he should have frozen out some of those with bleak futures entirely to concentrate on those Chelsea viewed as having better long-term prospects at the club.

But while Pochettino was able to make it clear that the situations of Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech, who spent the summer training with the Under-21s, had been decided before his arrival, Potter would have had to start relegating players himself and risk the inevitable fall-out.

The defeat by Villa that sealed Potter’s fate completed a run of four defeats, three victories and four draws in 11 games. Frank Lampard replaced him as interim head coach for the final 11 matches of the season and managed one win, two draws and eight defeats.

Roberto De Zerbi has been credited with advancing Potter’s work at Brighton and the Italian may well be first in line for the next big Premier League job that becomes available for his superb work.

But it will not have been forgotten inside the Amex Stadium that Brighton won five of their first seven matches at the start of last season under Potter, before he was poached by Chelsea, which is comparable to the three wins and one defeat under De Zerbi so far this term.

Having become the most expensive manager in world football a year ago, Potter may also prove to be one of the best free transfers when he eventually decides the time is right to re-enter the limelight.