The managerial merry-go-round has begun in the top European leagues, and there has been a real influx of promising coaches making waves in the game. The Bundesliga, La Liga, Champions League and Europa League are all being won by managers under the age of 50 which further emphasizes the point.
Many top managers have risen to prominence at a young age, but la’s have a look at the top-five up-and-comers from the European top divisions who could go on to enjoy successful careers.
5Eduardo Berizzo – Celta Vigo
Celta Vigo manager Eduardo Berizzo has indeed crept under the radar this season. He’s been in charge of Celta since 2014 – at the time Berizzo had just three years of club management under his belt – and has impressively turned them into a top-six side.
Celta were only promoted into La Liga in 2012, but they have enjoyed their best two seasons of recent decades under Berizzo. Goals have gone in at either end, but their impressive possession (55%) and pressing (21.2 tackles 21.8 interceptions per game) has been key to their success.
They will be in the Europa League for the first time since 2007, and Berizzo could be a coveted man this summer.
4Marco Silva – Olympiakos
Olympiakos manager Marco Silva won the Greek Super League title in his first season with the club. In a short space of time, he’s enjoyed trophy wherever he was managing and found his stock high as a result.
The 38-year-old enjoyed a 47% win ratio as a player/manager at former side Estoril, winning one league title in 2012, before finishing third with Sporting Lisbon (58% win ratio) and winning the Portuguese Cup in the 2014-15 season.
He won the league crown with Olympiakos in the 2015/16 campaign, losing just one game all season and conceding only 16 goals from their 30 matches. Olympiakos amassed 85 points from the 90 available and averaged 2.7 goals per game. He’s another coach on the radar of top clubs this summer.
3Oscar Garcia – Red Bull Salzburg
Red Bull Salzburg manager Oscar Garcia recently won the title after taking the charge midway through the season. Health problems led to the 43-year-old spending a year out of football, but the moment he came back, he’s picked up where he left off.
Garcia won a league title with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2013. He led Brighton to the playoffs a year later, and after short-term spells at Tel Aviv & Watford in 2014, he has gone on to win the Austrian Bundesliga with Salzburg.
His penchant for possession (54.3% at Brighton in 2014) and aggressive pressing (19.7 tackles/16.9 interceptions per game at Brighton) is a style that many clubs will be charmed by. Garcia’s time in England was cut short, but he will undoubtedly be inundated with offers in the summer.
2Phillip Cocu – PSV Eindhoven
PSV Eindhoven manager Phillip Cocu has only coached in a permanent role for three years, but in his time at the Philips Stadion, Cocu has gone on to win consecutive titles to end Ajax’s dominance in the Dutch Eredivisie.
The 45-year-old sealed a second league crown this summer despite losing key players such as Memphis Depay (to Man Utd) and Georginio Wijnaldum (to Newcastle). The aspiring boss looks keen to build a dynasty in the Netherlands before considering a big move elsewhere (Cocu signed a long-term deal with PSV this season).
Cocu has earned a runners-up medal as Netherlands assistant in the 2010 World Cup, and he has won the KNVB Cup (2011-12) and Johan Cruyff Shield (2015).
After the loss of the aforementioned key players, Cocu was forced into a change in style. This season, he utilized the threat of striker Luuk De Jong (26 goals) by getting balls into the box on a regular basis, and it’s paid dividends.
Having made 29 crosses per game, while scoring 28 goals from free-kicks & penalties, PSV have adopted basic methods of putting the ball into the back of the net.
Cocu has also favored a structured approach by defending deep and limiting the space for the opponents, rather than high pressing. In this way, PSV have made the second-fewest interceptions (469) and fewest tackles (750).
1Mauricio Pochettino – Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino looks to have a bright future in European football following a fantastic handful of years in the Premier League.
The Argentine coach nearly led Spurs to the League title in the 2015-16 season in a high pressing style of play (21 tackles per game) and an attractive style (55.3% possession), while he was building a youthful squad of homegrown talent.
In his short time at White Hart Lane, Pochettino has led Tottenham to the Capital One Cup final in 2015 and a third place Premier League finish a season later. At his former side Southampton, Pochettino led the club to their highest ever finish in the Premier League.
Pochettino has since been linked to the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona after an outstanding season with Tottenham, but he has recently committed his future to the Londoners.