Standard Liege appoint former Senegal striker Mbaye Leye as manager

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Mbaye Leye - Standard Liege
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The 38-year-old has been handed his first managerial role and he is expected to lead the Reds until the end of the 2020-21 season

Belgian First Division A club Standard Liege have confirmed the appointment of former Senegal player Mbaye Leye as their new manager for the rest of the campaign.

Leye previously worked as assistant coach to former managers Michel Preud'homme and Philippe Montanier in the Reds’ set-up from June 2019 to December 2020.

The ex-Senegal international spent the majority of his playing career in Belgium which includes two years in Liege between 2010 and 2012 before he retired at Royal Mouscron in 2019.

Standard Liege are struggling in the First Division A this season, and they find themselves 11th in the league table with an eight-game winless streak.

They are one of the most successful clubs in Belgium with 10 First Division A titles and eight Belgian Cups, but they are yet to win the league since 2009.

“Standard Liege and our former player and assistant coach Mbaye Leye reached an agreement: the 38-year-old Senegalese became the head coach of our team to the end of the 2020-2021 season,” the club statement read.

“He will be assisted by Patrick Asselman, our former player and current video analyst, who will combine this function with that of assistant coach.

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“Our club wishes Mbaye Leye a safe return and the best in his new functions.”

Leye is the latest African legend to take up managerial duties in Europe and he joins a host of others who followed a similar path after their playing career like Nigeria's Ndubuisi Egbo who guided KF Tirana to win the Albanian top-flight crown last season. 

Angola's Lito Vidigal is another notable figure but he was sacked by Maritimo earlier this month for their poor run in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

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