Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany has returned to English football as the new manager at Burnley, with the legendary Belgian looking to help them bounce back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
The Clarets suffered relegation out of the top-flight in 2021-22, with long-serving boss Sean Dyche paying the price for struggles towards the foot of the table when he was relieved of his coaching duties in April.
The reins at Turf Moor are now being passed to man that spent 11 memorable years in Manchester between 2008 and 2019, winning 12 trophies in that time and making 360 appearances – many of those coming as a talismanic captain.
Why is Kompany the new manager at Burnley?
The 36-year-old has spent the last three years, since his departure from City, back in his homeland with Anderlecht – with his coaching teeth being cut there.
He has overseen European qualification and a run to the Belgian Cup final during his time back at the club that helped to launch his career, but a new challenge is now being taken on in the Championship.
Kompany has told Burnley’s official website of returning to England: “I’m excited by the challenge ahead.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work with the players and creating a positive, winning team for our fans when we return to Turf Moor.
“I’ve been impressed by the board’s vision for the club which aligns with my own and I look forward to playing my part as we enter an important season.”
Burnley chairman, Alan Pace, added on a notable appointment in the dugout: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Vincent to Burnley Football Club.
“Vincent is a proven leader and I’ve been very impressed with his ideas for Burnley Football Club, his appetite to succeed and his focus on leading the club back to the Premier League.
“Vincent has shown impressive credentials in leading one of Belgium’s biggest teams back to European football and a cup final last season and we’ve been excited by his philosophy, approach and ambition for the club.”
Could Burnley success lead to Kompany becoming Man City manager?
During his 11 years at Manchester City, Kompany showed himself to be a natural leader, as well as a thoughtful and intelligent presence in the dressing room.
The arrival of Pep Guardiola and his coaching methods proved a great inspiration, and coupled with a history of injury problems, Kompany moved quickly into management at Anderlecht.
But he had mixed fortunes in Belgium, and a move to Burnley could be considered a big risk, particularly with a raft of senior players having been released this summer and uncertainty over new signings.
Kompany will feel at home back in the north west of England, but the pressure will be on to take the Clarets back into the Premier League at the first attempt with finances tight.
Ultimately, he would love to take over at the Etihad Stadium one day and the fans would be delighted to welcome him back - stepping into the hotseat at Turf Moor feels like a supreme test of his man-management and tactical skills that could go a long way to deciding his coaching destiny.