English side Wolves have appointed Benfica manager Bruno Lage as their new manager. This comes after the departure of Nuno Espirito Santo
Molineux chiefs have been searching for a replacement for Espirito Santo after he decided to stand down at the end of last season having grown frustrated by the club’s transfer prospects for the new season.
The club have been looking at a number of candidates but Lage emerged as the number one candidate after owner Jeff Shi began talks with the 45-year-old last month.
In his first interview with the club, Lage – who was previously assistant manager at Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea under Carlos Carvalhal – set out his vision to do ‘great things’ at Molineux after returning to England.
‘First of all, I’m very happy,’ he said. ‘It’s a big opportunity. I’m very happy because I’ve returned to this country, and to be the manager of a big team.
‘It’s a team and a club that wants to do history and a chance to compete in the Premier League. So, I’m happy, excited, with a big ambition to do great things for this club.’
Espirito Santo had taken Wolves from a mid-table side in the Championship to a team competing in the Europa League – although the team suffered a disappointing campaign last season as they finished 12th
Lage said he hopes to ‘improve’ upon the foundations his predecessor laid out and forge a good working relationship with the rest of the squad.
‘I’ll be trying to know everyone, to see what the club has to offer, and my first idea is to try to link everyone together.
‘I want to create a good dynamic of group, with my staff, with all the departments of the club. I have tried to link all together to start to build up the new cycle.
‘I think it’s a good opportunity to understand what Nuno [Espirito Santo] did in these four years and my ambition is to continue and to improve what he did.’
Lage began his coaching career with Vitoria de Setubal before being given an opportunity to work with the Benfica youth teams
After a stint working in Dubai, he linked up with his countryman Cavalhal at Sheffield Wednesday, spending two years alongside him at Hillsborough before following him to the Liberty Stadium after being appointed at Swansea City.
When Cavalhal failed to keep the Swans in the Premier League, he left the club with him and took up the job of reserve team boss at Benfica in 2018.
But after first team boss Rui Vitoria was sacked in January 2019, Lage was promoted to head coach – and enjoyed a successful first season as he won the Portuguese league and cup.
However, he was axed the following summer after his position came under huge scrutiny following a woeful run of two wins in 13 games – including five without a win at the Estadio da Luz