Wolves confirm appointment of Gary O’Neil as new head coach

Wolves have officially confirmed the appointment of former Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil as their new head coach.

This news comes following the departure of Julen Lopetegui earlier this week, who’s contract was mutually terminated due to “differences in opinion” between the head coach and the club’s board- with the Spaniard repeatedly expressing his frustrations over the club’s transfer dealings and Financial Fair Play (FFP) issues over the summer.

As for their new boss, the 40-year-old’s appointment comes off the back of his impressive first season in management for The Cherries last season.

The Englishman was initially appointed at the South coast side on an interim basis to replace Scott Parker after just four league games in August 2022, but earned the permanent position in November. In his 34 league games in charge, O’Neil achieved 10 wins and six draws, enough to secure the club’s Premier League status with a 15th place finish in their first season back in the English top flight. Despite this, he was let go by Bournemouth following the end of the campaign and replaced by former Rayo Vallecano boss Andoni Iraola.

Wolves’ managerial changes come as they face several issues surrounding FFP, which mean they have been required to reduce their wage bill and sell players before bringing anyone in this summer- consequently resulting in several key members of the squad already having departed.

Rúben Neves has joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for a club record sale of €55m, Raúl Jiménez has moved to Fulham for €6m, whilst Nathan Collins has signed for Brentford for €26m, having only joined the side last year. Furthermore, both Ryan Giles and Conor Coady have been sold for a combined fee of around €15m to Luton Town and Leicester City respectively- after both players spent the previous season out on loan.

As for new signings, The Wanderers have made three so far, however only one of the these, Matt Doherty, is a new name in the squad. The Irishman is returning to the club on a free transfer following a disappointing move to Tottenham three years ago, whilst the other two signings, Boubacar Traoré and Matheus Cunha, are loans which have been converted into permanent transfers.

Furthermore, due to an obligation to buy inserted in his contract, the permanent signing of Cunha cost the Midlands side a club-record fee of €50m, and he will return to the Molineux after he scored just two goals in 17 Premier League appearances during his six-month loan from Atlético Madrid last season.

O’Neil will have less than a week with his new side before they kick-off the new campaign on Monday 14 August, when Wolves will travel to Old Trafford and face Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United.

Travis Levison | Get Football

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