The search for Jesse Marsch’s replacement at Leeds United has come to an end with the appointment of former Watford manager Javi Gracia as the club’s new manager.
Marsch was fired on February 6th, but the Whites have had trouble finding a suitable replacement.
The 52-year-old Spanish manager Gracia led Watford to the 2019 FA Cup final before leading Valencia and Al Sadd in Qatar.
In the Premier League, Leeds is now in 19th place and will play Southampton on Saturday.
Despite club owner Andrea Radrizzani’s early assurances of a prompt appointment, Under-21 manager Michael Skubala has served as temporary manager since Marsch’s dismissal.
Andoni Iraola of Rayo Vallecano was the target of an approach, but Arne Slot of Feyenoord declined.
Alfred Schreuder, a former Ajax manager, was eliminated from consideration after receiving unfavorable feedback from numerous supporters, while Carlos Corberan, a former Marcelo Bielsa Leeds assistant manager, secured a new contract with West Brom.
A description of Javi Gracia
Watford fired Gracia in September 2019 after a rocky start to the year.
In his only full season in command after being hired in January 2018, he guided the Hornets to an 11th-place Premier League finish and their first FA Cup final in 35 years.
In the Premier League, he managed 56 games and won 18, earning an average of 1.18 points per game.
Whether Leeds will hire him before the season is over or not is not yet known.
Leeds has only triumphed in four league games thus far, with their most recent victory coming on November 5 against Bournemouth.
In a 1-0 loss to fellow strugglers Everton on Saturday, they failed to record a shot on goal.
Analysis: Gracia is aware of the situation.
Guillem Balague, a football specialist from Spain
He is a manager who adjusts to the different players he has; he doesn’t have just one style.
He will therefore perform admirably for Watford or Leeds. So he will be able to make adjustments in practice if they need to be more defensive or if they need more goals. I’ve seen him a few times at former employment, and despite having played at the highest level himself, he creates really tight relationships with players.
And he is aware of the requirements. When necessary, he raises his voice rather than remaining silent. By collaborating with them rather than imposing his personality, he persuades players. He is an excellent game reader.