Watford linked with former Bayer Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 23 May 2017, 11:44

Former Bayer Leverkusen boss Roger Schmidt is the latest manager to be thrown into the mix for the Watford job after bookmakers installed him as the surprise new favourite for the post.

Schmidt burst into contention on Monday at 4/1 and can now be found at 2/1 at the top of the Next Watford Manager Market.

Walter Mazzarri left the Hornets after a single season at the helm. The club were as high as 8th earlier this year, but an alarming slump in form - six defeats from their final six games - saw them plummet down to 17th come the end of the season.

Hull boss Marco Silva, former Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri, and Russian Leonid Slutsky all emerged as early contenders for the post, while the recently sacked Inter Milan manager Stefano Pioli and Schalke’s Markus Weinzieri also feature in the betting to replace Mazzarri.

Schmidt spent just under three seasons in charge of Leverkusen - he was sacked in March after a 6-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund - during which he led the club to back-to-back top-4 finishes in the Bundesliga.

Under the German Leverkusen qualified to the knockout-stages of the Champions League at the expense of Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham, but then lost out to Atletico Madrid in the last-16, with whom they also lost to at the same stage in 2014/15.

Schmidt, who favours a high-energy attacking pressing style of play and speaks excellent English, previously managed Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg for two seasons, leading the club to the league and cup double in 2013/14, while they also reached the last-16 of the Europa League.

Watford’s last three managers have all been foreign and it appears they are likely to continue this trend, with former Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew the only English manager featuring in the betting Alan Pardew and he’s out at 16/1.

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