Two managers, Lucien Favre and Okan Buruk opt to return to his old team while Roger Schmidt and Paulo Fonseca are ready for a new challenge in new leagues.
After about a year without a job, Lucien Favre and Okan Buruk are back in the dugout next season after their former clubs, OGC Nice and Galatasaray, turn to them as the head coach position was vacant. Nice’s boss last season, Christophe Gaultier has parted ways with the club as he is reportedly holding talks with PSG. Nice has been left by their number 1 goalkeeper, Walter Benitez, too. Thus, there is no better figure than Favre to guide them back. The Swiss boss had a memorable achievement there. He was the only one who was able to bring Nice to challenge the title in 2017 before finishing third and featuring in Champions League qualifiers. Favre left in 2018 to join Borussia Dortmund but was sacked in December 2020. He seems to have set a higher aim after only sitting on the fifth last season despite being able to stay unbeaten against PSG and sit on top three before their form was decreasing at the latter stage of the competition. He stated it while making his return, as reported by RMC.
"Within two years, the goal is to finish in the top three… or even better! I assume that we will. You have to tell the truth. That’s the goal… There are good players at this club and a good mentality from what I saw in the first training session. It was very interesting this morning, I saw a lot of positive things.”
Meanwhile, the former Turkey international, Okan Buruk, eventually got his call to take charge of his former club during his playing years, Galatasaray. The Turkish giant decided to hire him due to his experience and strong tie with Cim Bom. Buruk had two stints with them. The first one was during their best period from 1991 to 2001 when they managed to win UEFA Cup/Europa League and UEFA Super Cup 2000. He was also apart of Turkish golden generation when they managed to reach semi final in World Cup 2002 after previously reaching quarterfinals in EURO 2000. As a manager, he led Akhisarspor to win their second title in the club’s history, Turkish Cup 2018 and guided Istanbul Basaksehir to clinch their first ever league trophy in 2020. The former Inter Milan man between 2001 and 2004 has been given a huge task, to bring back their glory days in two years after their disappointing campaign in 2022 when they could only finish on 13th in the standings under Pep Guardiola’s ex assistant, Dominic Torrent.
In the meantime, Roger Schmidt and Paulo Fonseca have taken up a new challenge in their managerial career after being appointed by Benfica and Lille respectively. Schmidt apparently has made agreement to sign the Portuguese side last April.
The German boss is prepared to bring proper reinforcement for the squad after selling Darwin Nunez to Liverpool recently. The former PSV head coach is confident and feels challenged to end their title drought for three years although he barely made a impressive legacy for his former clubs, Bayer Leverkusen, RB Salzburg, Paderborn or even PSV Eindhoven. His notable achievement was winning Austria Bundesliga in 2014 and KNVB Cup 2022. His counterpart, Paulo Fonseca, is not so much different. The head coach who had been tipped to be at the helm of Newcastle United, Tottenham and Aston Villa last season only thrived when he took charge of Shakhtar Donestk. His brief stints in Porto, Sporting Braga or AS Roma did not leave much impression. Portuguese Cup 2016 for Braga was his only silverware. In Giallorossi, Fonseca was only able to lead them to progress to Europa League semifinal in 2020 but failed to secure a place for UCL in two seasons consecutively. Now, he has been given a task to inspire the 2021 Ligue 1 Champions to improve their domestic campaign after finishing tenth last season.