Following the sacking of Steve McClaren last month, Derby County have announced their new head coach is to be former Chelsea, Paris-Saint Germain and Real Madrid assistant manager, Paul Clement.
Clement, 43, joins on a three-year deal for his first managerial role and the appointment follows the Londoner leaving Real last week after the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti.
Clement, speaking to Rams Player in Madrid, said: “I’ve been thinking about it [becoming a head coach] for quite some time now, felt it was my own time to go it alone now. I’m looking forward to the challenge of the English Championship and looking forward to pushing on to the Premier League.
“The club has a fantastic stadium that week in, week out the fans go to in droves to support them. The fanbase in Derby is fantastic, they really get behind the club and I really can’t wait to get started now.”
The news had been circulating around Twitter ever since the rumours surrounding McClaren had intensified following a meeting between the ex-England manager and chief executive Sam Rush. Incoming chairman Mel Morris was adamant that persistent speculation linking McClaren to the vacant Newcastle United job since January had had a detrimental effect on a team that sat top of the league in February, yet ended up languishing in eighth place come May, following just two wins in their last thirteen games.
Renewed speculation had again linked McClaren to the United job at the end-of-the-season, but with Clement a wanted man, with Sunderland and West Ham United also reported to be interested, the Rams moved fast to get their man, and potentially lost out on compensation for their outgoing boss.
The level of talent Clement has worked with in the past is impressive to say the least, with the very best of world football on it. From, Didier Drogba and John Terry, to David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, and most recently, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos, not bad then!
It remains to be seen whether McClaren’s coaching team of Eric Steele and Paul Simpson will follow him out the door, but one thing for sure is that Rams fans have an exciting, dynamic coach in charge of them for the 2015/16 season, could he be the man to lead them, finally, to the promised land of the Premier League, after two years of banging on it? Who knows, but the ride should be a whole lot of fun…