Valerien Ismael announced as Watford’s new head coach

    Watford have appointed Valerien Ismael as their new head coach.

    Former Barnsley and West Brom boss Ismael will replace Chris Wilder, who left Vicarage Road due to the end of his short-term contract.

    The length of Ismael’s contract has not been disclosed by Watford, but it is the 19th full-time appointment made by the Pozzo family in the last 11 years.

    Watford technical director Ben Manga told the club’s official website: “Being able to appoint a new manager so soon in May means we can prepare very well together for next season.

    “To be able to welcome someone with Valerian experience at Watford is good news for our club. We all look forward to working with him.”

    This continues the incredible turnover at Watford, which is owned by the Pozzo family, and Wilder was only appointed in March after the sacking of Slaven Bilić.

    Rumors have circulated in recent weeks about the future of former Sheffield United manager Wilder and his departure was confirmed on Wednesday night.

    “The Hornets would like to formally thank Chris Wilder and his staff, whose short-term contracts have come to an end,” the club said in a statement.

    “His 11-game spell started in March and ended with a home win over Stoke City on the last day of the season. We wish Chris, Alan Neill, Matt Prestridge and Mike Allen all the best for their next opportunity in football.”

    Ismael arrives at Vicarage Road after a period in Turkey in charge of Besiktas.

    After numerous management positions in Germany, most notably at Wolfsburg, the Frenchman hit Barnsley in 2021 after taking them to the Sky Bet Championship playoffs against the odds.

    This earned the 47-year-old a move to West Brom, but he was sacked after just seven months and will now be looking to help Watford return to the Premier League.

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