Leeds United have confirmed the appointment of Javi Gracia as their new head coach on a “flexible contract”.
After letting go of Jesse Marsch earlier this month after less than a year in command, the Premier League team has been looking for a new permanent manager.
Leeds has only one point from among three games while in coaching period of Paco Gallardo, Michael Skubala, and Chris Armas.
The Spaniard has previous experience of the Premier League having managed Watford from January 2018 to September 2019 – a spell which makes him the longest-serving Watford manager in almost 10 years. Gracia took over at Vicarage Road with the club just five points above the relegation zone and duly secured their survival, finishing 14th and eight points clear of the bottom three. The following campaign, Gracia guided Watford to their best-ever Premier League finish of 11th place in addition to leading the club to the FA Cup final for only the second time in their history.
The Spaniard has prior Premier League management experience, having led Watford from January 2018 to September 2019—the longest tenure for a Watford manager in over a decade.
With the team only five points above the relegation zone when Gracia took over at Vicarage Road, they successfully guaranteed their safety by finishing 14th and eight points above the bottom three.
The next season, Gracia led Watford to their best-ever Premier League finish of 11th place and, for just the second time in their history, took the team to the FA Cup final.
After getting sack after just four games of the 2019–20 campaign, he return to Valencia in July of the following year.
Leeds United offically appointed Javi Garcia as the club’s new Head Coach (Manager)
The manager will join on a “flexible contract,” the duration of which has not yet been announced by the club, and the appointment is still contingent upon Gracia obtaining a work visa.
Recently, Leeds have made unsuccessful attempts to hire a number of other managers before to appointing Gracia. Carlos Corberan, Andoni Iraola, Arne Slot, and Raul are all said to have declined the position.
Gracia’s first game in charge of Leeds will take place on Saturday at Elland Road against Southampton, the only side behind them in the standings, pending the work permit.