As Leeds United’s search for a replacement for previous manager Jesse Marsch rumbles into its second week, a new name has entered the mix out of nowhere courtesy of Fabrizio Romano.
The candidate in question is Javi Gracia whose last job in English football was as head coach at Watford, where he was sacked early in the 2019-20 season.
Gracia is currently not in work following on from a successful spell managing Al Sadd in Qatar. Out of 22 games as manager there he won 16 – an average win rate of 73%.
The most notable act of his managing career, however, came during his tenure at Watford during the 2018-19 season. He managed to save them from the Premier League drop and also guide them to the FA Cup final in the same year.
The Spaniard then fell victim to the erratic nature of the Pozzo family and was sacked – rather harshly – the following season.
Alongside Watford, Gracia has also had spells at Malaga, Valencia, Osasuna and Russian side Rubin Kazan.
Gracia is not the only candidate Leeds are considering however, with another name reported to be on the club’s shortlist.
“Leeds United are now in talks with Javi Gracia as potential new manager, he’s serious candidate for the job to replace Jesse Marsch,” Romano wrote on Twitter.
Club will make internal decision soon on the manager situation — there are two names in the shortlist.”
A suitable appointment
If Gracia were to become Marsch’s replacement at Elland Road, he would bring with him something sorely lacking in current interim boss Michael Skubala: experience.
Not only does Gracia have previous experience managing at first-team level across a variety of leagues, he also managed to successfully navigate Watford out of a Premier League relegation scrap.
A steady hand on the tiller is something the Whites are in desperate need of right now and considering how he performed whilst at other sides, this may be something Gracia can provide.
An appointment is also realistic considering that Gracia finds himself jobless. This is definitely one to keep an eye on.