Luis Enrique has been replaced by Ernesto Valverde in the Barcelona hot seat as work starts ahead of the 2017-18 season. The former Athletic Bilbao coach isn’t the only boss on the move in La Liga though with a number of clubs looking for a new figurehead this summer.
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It was a largely underwhelming season for Barcelona with rivals Real Madrid wrapping up the title and Champions League in the space of a month. The Blaugranas did secure the Copa Del Rey, however, beating Alaves and bringing an end to Luis Enrique’s tenure with some silverware.
They didn’t waste any time in appointing former player Ernesto Valverde to take over from the outgoing Enrique. The 53-year-old had spent four seasons at Athletic Bilbao where he successfully promoted a number of promising youth players into the first team to become La Liga regulars.
He has been awarded a hefty looking transfer kitty in which to strengthen the Barcelona squad with Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin rumoured to be among his primary targets this summer.
Athletic Bilbao generally promote from within and it’s no surprise to see Jose Angel Ziganda promoted from managing the youth team to fill Valverde’s sizeable shoes.
The Basque club aren’t the only side overseeing a switch at the top with Jorge Sampaoli leaving Sevilla after a hugely successful spell in charge. He replaces Edgardo Bauza as head coach of Argentina, describing the opportunity as “a dream come true”. He is also relishing the chance to work with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
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Sevilla are believed to be considering Eduardo Berizzo as their new boss. He guided Celta Vigo to a 13th place finish and into the Semi-Finals of the Europa League where they were ousted by eventual winners Manchester United. He stepped down at the end of the season.
Surprisingly, Mauricio Pellegrino announced his resignation from his position at Alaves despite guiding them to a Copa Del Rey final and comfortably securing their place for another season in the top flight. They finished ninth under the tutelage of the former Liverpool assistant manager and he can leave the club with his head held high.
At the end of the season, Las Palmas boss Quique Setien stepped down as head coach of the Islanders. He’d had a mixed season in charge of the club making them extremely hard to break down at home but victories on the road proved elusive for the majority of the campaign. Just a couple of weeks later, he was announced as the new coach of Real Betis.
He had previously been linked with both Valencia and Celta Vigo with the former announcing renowned disciplinarian Marcelino as their new coach just weeks before the end of the season whilst Juan Carlos Unzue is now in charge at Celta.
When the new La Liga season begins on the 11th of August there is set to be a number of familiar faces in very different dugouts all hoping to get their campaign off to the best possible start.