Wolves finally name new head coach as ex-Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui appointed

Julen Lopetegui
(Image credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Wolves (opens in new tab) have appointed former Real Madrid (opens in new tab) and Sevilla (opens in new tab) boss Julen Lopetgui as their new head coach, more than a month after sacking Bruno Lage.

Lopetegui's appointment was announced on Saturday, and the Spaniard will officially take over from Monday 14 November – meaning his first game in charge won't be until after the World Cup; he had previously turned the job down due to his father's ill health. Just like Lage and predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo, the 56-year-old is a client of super-agent Jorge Mendes – a big influence at Molineux.

For the last five games, Wolves have been under the caretaker stewardship of Steve Davis – with Lage having been dismissed following a 2-0 loss to West Ham (opens in new tab) at the start of October.

It's been a miserable season so far for Wolves, who came into this weekend second-bottom of the Premier League with just 10 points from a possible 39.

But the arrival of Lopetegui – who lost his job at Sevilla just two days after Lage's sacking – ought to get fans feeling more optimistic about the rest of the campaign: he brings experience of coaching Porto (opens in new tab) and Sevilla in the Champions League – he guided the former to the quarter-finals, and won the 2019/20 Europa League with the latter – as well as two years as manager of the Spanish national team.

Lopetegui's stint at Real Madrid was considerably less successful – he lasted just over two months – but there's no doubting his pedigree at the top level. Intriguingly, he's also the third ex-goalkeeper to manage Wolves in recent times – following in the footsteps of Walter Zenga and Nuno Espirito Santo.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...