Bournemouth announce Andoni Iraola as new head coach.

Bournemouth have announced the appointment of manager Andoni Iraola as their new head coach for next season.

The former Rayo Vallecano manager will replace Gary O’Neil at the Vitality Stadium, who’s sacking was announced just hours before Iraola’s official appointment.

The Englishman departed his role as head coach after managing 34 league games last season, helping The Cherries achieve 10 wins and six draws, enough to secure their Premier League status next season with a 15th place finish.

As for the incoming manager, the 40-year-old will join the South Coast side on a two-year deal following the expiration of his contract at Vallecano, where he has had a successful three-year spell. After managing Cyprian side AEK Larnaca and then heading back to his home nation with Mirandés, the former Spain international took over Vallecano in the Segunda División in 2020, guiding them to promotion to La Liga in his first season, before going on to achieve 12th and 11th place finishes respectively in the following two seasons.

A disciple of ex-Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa, having previously played under the Argentinian during his spell at Athletic Bilbao where made 500 appearances, the former defender has impressed many in Spain and around Europe with his intense, high-pressing, and positive style of play. These tactics have enabled his teams to outperform expectations and compete with some of the best teams in the league- as shown by Los Franjirrojos‘ results against giants Barcelona and Real Madrid last season- where they lost just once and picked up seven out of a possible 12 points.

In an interview on the club’s website regarding the new appointment, Bournemouth chairman and owner Bill Foley stated:

“We’re so excited to welcome Andoni to the club. With his contract in Spain coming to an end this summer we wanted to act quickly. He was highly sought after by other clubs across the continent, and his style of play has been an important factor in making this decision. His achievements in Spain have certainly been very impressive, and we’re confident that he is the right man to lead our next chapter.”

Foley also expressed his ambition to bolster next season’s squad for the incoming manager this summer, saying: “We have identified a number of targets in the transfer market, which along with our January additions will supplement our strong playing squad to give Andoni the best chance to consolidate our Premier League status and keep progressing.”

Iraola’s first league match in charge will take place on Saturday 12 August, as his new side will host West Ham the Vitality Stadium.

Travis Levison | Get Football

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