Who is new Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde and what can he bring?


Barcelona are set to name their new coach on Monday evening, with Ernesto Valverde taking the reigns.

The former Athletic Bilbao manager stepped down from his position with the club last week and is the perfect replacement for Luis Enrique, who is to leave Barcelona after three years in charge at the Camp Nou.

But just who is Ernesto Valverde? Sam May gives you the rundown of all you need to know…

Having previously been at the Catalan giants Valverde spent two years at the Camp Nou under Johan Cruyff. The 53-year-old, helped win the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1989 and Copa del Rey in 1990.

Spending the majority of his time at Bilbao, he clocked up 170 appearances for the Basque club and scored 44 goals. He had to spells as manager at the club between 2003-05, and then from 2013 until the end of last season. He has also managed in Greece for three years with Olympiakos, helping them to three league titles and two cups.

Barcelona have been far from their best under Enrique and with the immediate arrival of Valverde, he will steady the ship. There are question marks over a number of Barcelona’s senior players, with Lucas Digne, Jordi Alba, Jérémy Mathieu and Javier Mascherano.

Valverde will also look to sign a right back and may target the likes of Héctor Bellerín of Arsenal, João Cancelo of Valencia or Southampton’s Cédric Soares, who have all been previous targets.

A new centre back will also be on the agenda to provide competition for Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti, so he may look to raid his former club for either Mikel San José or Aymeric Laporte. He could also target a move for Javi Martínez of Bayern Munich, who would be the perfect replacement for Mascherano. The striking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar are all expected to stay this summer.

He will have to recruit well and hit the ground running as the Catalan fans wont accept another season playing second fiddle to their bitter rivals Real Madrid, who could also be European Champions when the new La Liga season kicks off.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s