Nuno Espirito Santo: Wolves appoint former Porto boss as head coach

Nuno Espirito Santo
Nuno's Porto were knocked out of this season's Champions League at the last-16 stage by eventual finalists Juventus

Wolves have named former Porto and Valencia boss Nuno Espirito Santo as their head coach to succeed Paul Lambert, who left Molineux on Tuesday.

Nuno, 43, is the seventh man to take charge of the Championship club since February 2012 and the fourth boss in 10 months under Chinese owners Fosun.

"I first got to know Nuno two years ago," said Wolves director Jeff Shi.

"At that time, we hadn't taken over Wolves. But, when talking to him, I was impressed by his football tactics."

Former Porto, Dynamo Moscow and Desportivo das Aves goalkeeper Nuno has signed what is understood to be a three-year contract.

He has brought in a new backroom team - Rui Pedro Silva as assistant head coach, Rui Barbosa as goalkeeping coach and Antonio Dias as fitness coach.

"Since the very beginning of the Wolves project, Fosun has been very clear on our strategic thinking and philosophy, and has huge ambition and confidence to achieve our goals," added Shi.

"In a sense, we are very glad to find Nuno with a football philosophy that is similar to ours. He has an impressive track record in the top divisions in Spain and Portugal."

Wolves, who began last season under former Italy goalkeeper Walter Zenga, finished 15th in the second tier in 2016-17.

Zenga lasted just three months before Lambert took charge and, seven months later, Wolves "parted company" with Lambert following an end-of-season football review.

Who is Nuno Espirito Santo?

Born on the African island of Sao Tome and Principe, Nuno played for Vitoria Guimaraes, Sport Clube Vila Real, Deportivo La Coruna, Merida, Osasuna, Porto, where he played under Jose Mourinho, Dynamo Moscow and Clube Desportivo das Aves in an 18-year playing career.

Having become the very first client of agent Jorge Mendes in his playing days, Wolves will be Nuno's fourth club as manager.

He began with Rio Ave in Portugal's top division, before 16 months in Spain at Valencia, who he took to fourth in La Liga, before leaving the following November, when he was succeeded by Gary Neville.

Nuno was appointed Porto head coach in June 2016 on a two-year deal, but he left in May having led his team to second in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, six points behind champions Benfica.

Porto also reached the last 16 of the Champions League, losing 3-0 on aggregate to eventual finalists Juventus.

Five of the top six clubs in the Championship in 2016-17 had foreign managers, including three - Newcastle's Rafael Benitez, Huddersfield's David Wagner and Reading's Jaap Stam - who had not experienced a full season in the division before.

Analysis

BBC WM's Mike Taylor

There are no surprises in Wolves' announcement. The arrival of Nuno Espirito Santo had been well trailed, and he brings with him a three-man coaching staff, replacing all of Lambert's assistants, whose dismissals were announced 24 hours earlier.

It is understood that he has signed a three-year contract, a luxury not afforded to his predecessor.

Wolves' main director Jeff Shi is quoted as saying that Nuno has a similar football philosophy to that of the club's owners Fosun.

Nuno also has a long-term association with the so-called super agent Jorge Mendes, with whom Fosun work very closely.

A raft of potential new signings - many of them from Portugal, although not all - are already being linked with moves to Molineux.

While Norwich's Ryan Bennett is the first to arrive, Ghanaian international Phil Ofosu-Ayeh is reported by newspapers in his own country to be another about to sign up.

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