Wolves have appointed former Benfica boss Bruno Lage as their new head coach, the Portuguese replacing his fellow countryman Nuno Espirito Santo.
The ex-Swansea assistant moves into Molineux after Nuno’s departure at the end of last season. Wolves targeted Lage, a free agent, as they look to change direction following Nuno’s four years in charge. The 45-year-old initially failed to get through post-Brexit regulations but, at a hearing earlier this month, Wolves won their case.
Lage won the Portuguese title with Benfica in 2019, where he also claimed the manager of the year prize. However, he departed in 2020 after failing to defend their crown, finishing second behind Porto.
A move to Molineux marks a return to English football; Lage spent time as Carlos Carvalhal’s assistant at Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea.
Speaking to Wolves’ official website, Lage said: “First of all, I’m very happy. It’s a big opportunity. I’m very happy because I’ve returned to this country, and to be the manager of a big team.
“It’s a team and a club that wants to do history and a chance to compete in the Premier League. So, I’m happy, excited, with a big ambition to do great things for this club.”
Nuno left Wolves last month having taken them from the Championship to the Europa League quarter-finals.
He secured successive seventh-place finishes in the Premier League after promotion in 2018. Although, Wolves could only manage 13th in the 2020-21 campaign.
While his departure was officially by mutual consent, owners Fosun initiated the move as they looked to the club’s long-term future.
Lage added that he plans to continue on Nuno’s pathway, with many squad members also Portuguese.
Lage cites Nuno over Wolves plans
“I’ll be trying to know everyone, to see what the club has to offer, and my first idea is to try to link everyone together,” Lage said when asked what his first steps would be.
“I want to create a good dynamic of group, with my staff, with all the departments of the club. I have tried to link all together to start to build up the new cycle.”
He added: “I think it’s a good opportunity to understand what Nuno [Espirito Santo] did in these four years and my ambition is to continue and to improve what he did.”
Lage also revealed that he already has an idea of what to expect at Molineux after working at Sheffield Wednesday.
“I was here [in the UK] for three years, so I know Wolves, but now, the best thing to do – the next thing to do – is to know everyone better,” he said.
“That includes the club, the fans, and also to try to create a plan, just not for the next game or the next training, but for the future.
“That’s why for me, it’s very important to create that dynamic of teamwork here in this building; to try to realise what we are doing in the future.”