Paul Clement has been apointed the new manager of Swansea City and the contract is expected to run until 2019.
The 44-year-old had been serving as Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant manager at German behemoth Bayern Munich, and the Bavarian outfit confirmed on Tuesday that it had allowed the promising coach to pursue his dream, already hiring Hermann Gerland in his place.
“Paul has been a professional, loyal and capable coach for us. We did not want to stand in his way of becoming a manager in the Premier League,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in the press release. “We wish him all the best for the future.”
Clement appears to have been picked ahead of other touted managerial candidates at Swansea such as ex-Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs and former Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett. Wales handler Chris Coleman’s was declared out of the running last Thursday by his wife on Twitter.
Clement is set to succeed Bob Bradley, the first American to manage in the Premier League after he was sacked on Dec. 27, lasting merely 85 days and 11 matches. His short tenure was summed up by a ghastly defensive record of three or more goals conceded in nine of those 11 outings, and that trait continued with Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth under the caretaker charge of Alan Curtis.
That latest loss left the Swans in bottom place and four points adrift of safety at the season’s halfway point.
After a rather modest and short playing career, Clement developed a reputation as one of the most exciting young coaches in the country. He focused on his trade from the age of 23, sharing his duties between being a physical education teacher and working in youth development at Chelsea.
He eventually progressed to the senior setup at Stamford Bridge, assisting Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti in the technical area before following a brief stint coaching at Blackburn Rovers by acting as Ancelotti’s deputy at Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, and then Bayern.
His one previous managerial stint ended controversially. He was surprisingly dismissed at Derby County in February 2016 after eight months in charge, despite being just five points short of the Championship’s automatic promotion places. Under the temporary watch of Darren Wassall, that gulf had grown to 11 points by the end of the 2015-16 season.
Clement has also worked within the England setup, with Gareth Southgate telling the Football Association website of his delight to have his “good quality opinion” in his “top-class coaching team” for the Under-21 side in March of last year.
The decision to elect for Clement for the manager’s position marks an early thorough examination of the club’s running under the ownership of Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan. The duo are already on their third manager since assuming control in the summer, after first firing Italian Francesco Guidolin in October, and their questionable work so far has piled the pressure on chairman Huw Jenkins, who decided to sell the club to the consortium after being part-run by a supporters’ trust from 2003.
If his appointment is ratified in time, Clement would dive straight into the relegation dogfight with a trip to 17th-placed Crystal Palace on Tuesday.
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