Wolves appoint former Benfica boss Bruno Lage as new manager following departure of Nuno Espirito Santo

Bruno LageAA

Wolves have appointed former Benfica boss Bruno Lage as their new permanent manager.

Lage, who will replace Nuno Espirito Santo in the Molineux dugout for the 2021-22 campaign, had been out of work since being sacked by Benfica in June 2020.

He will link up with his new Wolves squad for the start of pre-season next month.

What's been said?

Lage expressed his delight after being officially unveiled by Wolves on Wednesday, telling the club's official website: "First of all, I’m very happy. It’s a big opportunity. I’m very happy because I’ve returned to this country, and to be the manager of a big team.

“It’s a team and a club that wants to do history and a chance to compete in the Premier League. So, I’m happy, excited, with a big ambition to do great things for this club.”

Lage's credentials 

His first experience of English football came at Sheffield Wednesday, where he served as assistant manager to Carlos Carvalhal for two years before taking up the same role at Swansea City in 2017.

The 45-year-old helped Wednesday reach the Championship playoffs in successive seasons alongside Carvalhal, and the pair continued to work together at Swansea in the Premier League.

Lage was snapped up by Benfica, where he had previously worked for eight years as a youth coach, ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, initially taking charge of their B team before being promoted to first-team manager midway through the season.

He went on to deliver the club's 37th league title, but results took a turn in his first full season at the helm with his contract eventually terminated following a run of just two wins in 13 games.

The bigger picture

Lage has big shoes to fill at Molineux, with Nuno having earned a popular following among supporters for guiding Wolves back into the Premier League and to back-to-back seventh-place finishes in the top-flight.

Wolves slipped to 13th in the standings last term after selling a number of key players and seeing star striker Raul Jimenez ruled out of action with a fractured skull, and Nuno subsequently left the club by mutual consent.

Lage will be expected to take Wolves back into the top half of the table next season, with it reported that he will be given a sizeable transfer kitty to bring in new talent.

"I’ll be trying to know everyone, to see what the club has to offer, and my first idea is to try to link everyone together," the new manager added. “I want to create a good dynamic of group, with my staff, with all the departments of the club. I have tried to link all together to start to build up the new cycle.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to understand what Nuno [Espirito Santo] did in these four years and my ambition is to continue and to improve what he did.”

Further reading