As is the case when any football manager has been handed the sack, speculation swirls around who is to succeed them. In this regard, Jesse Marsch is no different after being removed as Leeds United manager earlier today.
Carlos Corberan. Mauricio Pochettino. Steven Gerrard. Ange Postecoglou. These are just some of the names that have been doing the rounds thus far.
Some hopeful Leeds supporters have even tipped Marcelo Bielsa for a romantic return to Elland Road after he was discharged around this time last year.
Now, The Athletic’s Phil Hay has thrown a new name into the mix: Rayo Vallecano’s manager Andoni Iraola.
Iraola is a former Athletic Bilbao defender who quickly earned plaudits for his high intensity managerial style employed during a two-and-a-half year spell with Rayo Vallecano.
The 40-year-old’s Rayo Vallecano side currently sit eighth in La Liga. Whilst he has other admirers, Hay reports that Vallecano is “on the radar” of Leeds and that the club “are weighing up an approach”.
He could certainly be a contender for the top job at the West Yorkshire club as they attempt to stave off Premier League relegation for the second season in a row.
A new candidate emerges
It is always worth noting when an entirely new candidate is suggested during managerial speculation, and that is the case with Iraola here.
The fact that the news came from a reputable journalist such as Hay only increases its credibility.
Admittedly, Iraola isn’t a figure every Whites supporter will be familiar with, but it has to be remembered that Bielsa was a relative unknown when he arrived in Yorkshire.
And we all know how that turned out.
The most exciting part of Hay’s update relates to the “high pressing model” Iraola is reported to deploy. While Marsch was sold to Leeds fans using the same rhetoric, things may turn out to be different with this particular managerial candidate.
This is most definitely one to watch, but perhaps with a degree of caution.