Foreign managers waiting in the wings for a Premier League opening

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 09 December 2016, 15:11

The Premier League is currently home to some of the most colourful and successful managers in world football. Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho all ply their trade in England’s top flight, while there are eight other foreign gaffers working in what is arguably the planet’s most pulsating league.

The last three Premier League winning managers have all come from across the continent - Manuel Pellegrini, Jose Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri - while Ranieri’s fellow countrymen, Roberto Mancini and Carlo Ancelotti, have gleefully hoisted the famous trophy in the last seven years.

Reoccurring Theme

It’s difficult to envision this now dominant theme changing anytime soon, with Mark Hughes the highest placed British boss last season, and his Stoke side finished in 9th - 30 points behind champions Leicester.

Mark Hughes

A look at the current standings shows Tony Pulis leading the battle of the British bosses, with West Brom up in 7th, while Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) is the highest-placed Englishman in 10th.

However, three of the five managers in the top echelons of the Premier League Sack Race are from these shores, and should they be sent packing it’s more than likely that a foreign manager will come in the other direction.

Below we take a look at a multitude of foreign managers who could be present in the Premier League dugout in the near future...

Premier League Savvy

There are a catalogue of high-profile, yet unemployed, foreign gaffers with Premier League experience to their name; Louis van Gaal, Guus Hiddink, Roberto Mancini to name a few, while Manuel Pellegrini, Sven Goran Eriksson and Luiz Felipe Scolari are currently raking in the dough over in China, which is also where Andre Villas Boas currently resides.

Andre Villas Boas

At 39 years of age AVB can’t be considered a veteran, however he has rapidly accumulated over 300 games in the dugout at six different clubs, including spells at both Chelsea and Tottenham.

The Portuguese coach may be on a staggering £11m-a-year deal with Super League club Shanghai SIPG, but if he wants to join the top cluster of gaffers then he simply must return to one of Europe’s top leagues soon, and you never know a third spell in the Premier League is by no means out of the question.

Top gaffers with zero Premier League experience

Some of the greatest managers have never had the opportunity, for whatever reason, to work in England’s top-flight, but as the curtains draw on their respective careers, could we see the likes of Vicente del Bosque, Fabio Capello, Marcello Lippi, Lars Lagerback, Otto Rehhagel, and Marcelo Bielsa storm over to England for one last crack of the whip?

Probably not, but you never know.

Portugal’s European Championship winning manager Fernando Santos, France boss Didier Deschamps (France), Fatih Terim (Turkey) and Sporting Lison’s Jorge Jesus may each be in employment, but a voyage over to these shores for the first time in their respective careers is one to ponder.

Vicente del Bosque

Meanwhile, it’s difficult to envision the quintet of Luis Enrique (Barcelona), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid), Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid), Jorge Sampaoli (Sevilla), Unai Emery (Sevilla) switching sunny Spain for England anytime soon, although the latter was previously linked with West Ham.

Elsewhere, Max Allegri is busy winning silverware with Italian giants Juventus, although he will be near the top of the betting should a top job become available in England, while Maurizio Sarri is an option should he leave Napoli.

Talented managers making waves in Europe

Borrusia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel leads a long-list of up-and-coming managers who are currently making waves in dugouts across Europe. The German has just led his troops to top spot above Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages, smashing the group stage goals record in the process (21). Tuchel is currently under contract with the BVB until 2018, and the club will no doubt be doing everything they can to ensure that he extends his stay, otherwise the Premier League will be on red-alert.

Thomas Tuchel

France’s Ligue 1 is packed full of potential future Premier League managers, including Leonardo Jardim (Monaco), Lucien Favre who is loving life with leaders Nice, and let’s not forget Guingamp gaffer Antoine Kombouare.

Austrian boss Ralph Hasenhuttl will now be a name familiar with Arsenal fans. Hasenhuttl (8/1) has been linked a move to the Gunners after Arsene Wenger leaves, and for the moment you can see why, with undefeated RB Leipzig currently flying-high at the summit of the Bundesliga.

Staying in just 29 years of age Julian Nagelsmann - the Bundesliga’s youngest ever coach - has enjoyed a sensational start to management with 1899 Hifernheim, and he is certainly one for the future, along with Hertha BSC boss Pal Dardai, while Bayer’s attack-minded coach Roger Schmidt is winning plaudits.

The Dutch duo of Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu have been linked with a move to these shores in recent times. The latter has won back-to-back Eredivisie titles with PSV, while de Boer hoisted the same trophy four times with Ajax, before being linked with both Everton and Southampton, only to instead fall short at Inter Milan.

Former Premier League players Jurgen Klinsmann and Laurent Blanc are both out of work, patiently waiting for an opportunity to return to the dugout, while other Job Centre residents include the ex Villarreal manager Marcelino and former Schalke gaffer Andre Breitenreiter.

We’ve already mentioned the experienced Jesus at Sporting, but the Portuguese league is also home to Rui Vitoria (Benfica) and Nuno (Porto) who are both worth keeping an eye on.

Other managers that may go under the radar include the La Liga duo of Atletico Bilbao's Ernesto Valverde and Celta Vigo’s Eduardo Berizzo, along with Mircea Lucescu (Zenit), Luciano Spalletti (Roma), Gian Piero Gasperini, who has enjoyed a cracking start to life at Atalanta, and Spartak Moscow manager Murat Yakin who was previously linked with Southampton.

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