Just days after he was sacked by Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, Swansea City has hired Carlos Carvalhal as its new permanent manager, the club confirmed on Thursday.
The 52-year-old Portuguese manager has formerly been in charge of Besiktas and Sporting CP, but has never managed in the top flight of a Big 4 league. Carvalhal brought Sheffield Wednesday to the Championship playoffs in each of the past two years, but after failing to achieve promotion either time, he was fired on Christmas Eve with the club in 14th in the table.
The official release did not explicitly say if Carvalhal will be ready to take charge of the team for Saturday’s match against Watford, but it hinted that h will take over for player/interim coach Leon Britton immediately, saying “The Portuguese agreed the deal late last night and travelled straight to Swansea overnight to meet his new squad and take training this morning.He replaces Paul Clement, who left the club a fortnight ago, and takes over the managerial duties from Leon Britton, who had taken caretaker charge for the last two games.”
Clement reportedly was on hand to watch Swansea take on Liverpool on Boxing Day, getting a first-hand account of the issues he faces in their 5-0 defeat.
“We felt we needed to get the managerial situation resolved as soon as possible and while the timing is not always perfect, we can look forward to the second half of the campaign with renewed optimism,” said Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins in the official release. “Carlos’ time at Sheffield Wednesday, which included securing two consecutive play-off places, highlighted that he has great character and personality to lead the squad and the football club, which is vital at such a crucial time.”
Jenkins admitted Carvalhal has a “big challenge ahead of him.”