Ernesto Valverde returns to management with Athletic Club Bilbao

(Football news) It's been more than 2 years since Ernesto Valverde was sacked from Barcelona. The Spaniard is now back for a 3rd spell with Athletic Club Bilbao. The Basque club had been looking for a manager since Marcelino's departure in May. Bilbao is under the leadership of newly elected President Jon Uriarte who was clear that he wanted Valverde to take over as manager. The other candidate Inaki Arechabaleta had promised fans the return of Marcelo Bielsa if he won the elections.

Valverde was very successful in his last spell, achieving Champions League qualification and also winning the Spanish Super Cup which was Bilbao's first trophy in 31 years. At Barcelona he won 2 La Liga trophies and a Spanish Super Cup. At any other club that would've been a success but Barcelona didn't see it that way. His failure to win the Champions League and the fact that he got eliminated in an ugly fashion is what led to his sacking. Barcelona fans weren't a big fan of his style of play which they thought was negative. He did deliver success with the resources he had and that is exactly what he has to do at Athletic Club.

At Bilbao, the policy is that the club only signs players who are born in the Basque country. Which means that they get players from the academy and not from the transfer window. Players they buy are their own former players and majority of the time on free deals. This means that a manager's job is to make most of the players he has because he can't buy players he wants. Valverde has done that well in the past and this time he comes with more experience. Bilbao have been finishing mid-table for the past four seasons and haven't been in Europe. Valverde's main target would be to secure European qualification.

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