Julen Lopetegui: Wolves have appointed the former coach of Real Madrid and Sevilla


Lopetegui left Sevilla in October after three years as their coach

Wolves have appointed Spain’s Julen Lopetegui as their new coach after initially being himself they were thrown back.

The 56-year-old will take over on November 14, when the Premier League stops the World Cup in Qatar.

Lopetegui was the club’s first choice to take over after them rejected by Bruno Lag on October 2, but chose to stay at home to be near his elderly father.

“Julen is a top coach, with great experience at the elite level of the game,” Wolves president Jeff Shi said.

“From the outset, Julen has been our top choice to manage Wolves and we look forward to welcoming him and his team when he joins us in the coming weeks.”

Lopetegui’s first game will be away to Everton in the Premier League on December 26.

Lopetegui, former coach of Real Madrid He was released by Sevilla After three years in charge after Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League group stage defeat in October.

Lopetegui was appointed Sevilla manager in June 2019 and led the club to the Europa League title in 2020.

His Wolves predecessor Lage was sacked after one win in 15 Premier League games, going back to last season, with caretaker Steve Davis currently in charge.

The club previously said Davis would remain in the role until 2023 After QPR boss Michael Beale turned down the job.

Wolves have lost three of Davis’ last five games and are second from bottom in the Premier League – two points below Southampton, who sit just outside the relegation zone in 17th place.

They play Brighton at Molineux on Saturday at 15:00 GMT, host Leeds in the third round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday and then play Arsenal on November 12 in their final game before the World Cup break.

Lopetegui, who was supposed to coach Spain in the 2018 World Cup was fired a few days before the tournament after accepting Real Madrid’s offer, is known as the president of Shi Otso.

The pair discussed Lopetegui becoming Wolves manager in 2016 after Chinese conglomerate Fosun took over the club.

Instead, he managed Spain and then Real Madrid – the latter of whom he lasted just 138 days in charge before being sacked after a 5-1 defeat by Barcelona – before joining Sevilla in June 2019.

Former goalkeeper Lopetegui played for Real Madrid and Barcelona and won one cap for Spain.

“Lopetegui can maximize a team’s potential”

Analysis – Spanish football expert Guillem Balague

We have seen with Sevilla, that he brings more than football; football that is physical but has to do with tactics, possession, key plays, attack. When it worked well in Seville, it was great to see.

I have always said that Sevilla was the most ‘Premier League’ club in Spain. High tempo, diversification of tactics, good use of collective responses for a team that was not the best individually – Lopetegui improved the players and consolidated the team, but always with a chance to win.

All of this led to Sevilla winning the Europa League and Lopetegui showing that he can maximize a team’s potential to become one of the top managers around.

Between the club where the players were not investing properly [Jules] Kounde and Diego Carlos for example, and a manager who squeezed a lot out of a properly recycled side, meant it all had to come to an end.

He led Sevilla to the Champions League for three consecutive seasons, which had not happened before. I felt that he was tired; mentally and physically. He must give a lot of energy, something new was needed for him too.

He took a break, his father was not in a good place and he wanted to be by his side. He had priority, and when Lopetegui said no, Otsoa said they would wait.

Things have developed, not for the better, that is, Lopetegui has rested and given time to his father. There is not much that can be done; he finds himself in a place ready to work again, full of energy.

This will be the most difficult thing in football, to change a negative dynamic. But he has seen the potential of the side, he knows they will improve. Congratulations Wolves fans, this is a great opportunity.

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