We rarely see young football managers given much opportunity in the upper echelons of today’s game. With risks being higher than ever for football clubs to survive, very few will take a punt on a young unproven coach to lead their team.
But there are a few out there who have some serious time on their hands to become the best in the world. Let’s take a look at top flight teams who have shown faith in young managers:
Hoffenheim: Julian Nagelsmann – 30
When Huub Stevenson had to step down as manager of Hoffenheim in 2016 due to heart problems, Hoffenheim made Nagelsmann the youngest manager in Bundesliga History and at the age of 28 the gamble proved fruitful. The club were second from bottom at the time, but the new manager – with no pedigree as a player – not only ensured they survived but transformed them into a top-four side just a year later.
His efforts have led to gossip circulating that he was due to take over at Bayern Munich when Carlo Ancelotti was sacked in September.
Watford/Everton: Marco Silva – 40
Before moving to the Premier league, Silva had already managed Sporting Club in his homeland and won the Greek title with Olympiacos. Not a bad history for such a young manager.
He arrived in England to help save Hull from being relegated but unfortunately could only lift them up to 18th from the bottom of the table. After Hull he moved to Watford where he had the Hornets playing some scintillating football at times. Unfortunately, rumours of a move to Everton, a job which eventually went to Ronald Koeman, seemed to unsettle Silva and Watford began to stagnate before Silva finally completed his move to Everton for the start of the 2018 season.
Villarreal: Javier Calleja – 39
Calleja played for Villarreal, Malaga and Osasuna as a left-sided midfielder before he hung up his boots in 2005. After retiring he became youth team manager of the Yellow Submarine before taking over the reserve team back in May.
His role as reserve coach was over quickly as he was handed the first-team job in September following the dismissal of Fran Escriba after a very poor season. Under Javier Calleja, Villarreal climbed to sixth in the table while also progressing well in the Europa League.