Potter ‘generates special attention’ as Spanish club ‘seriously’ consider appointment despite ‘handicap’

Jason Soutar
Ex-Chelsea head coach Graham Potter looks dejected during a match.
Ex-Chelsea head coach Graham Potter looks dejected during a match.

Former Chelsea and Brighton boss Graham Potter is reportedly on the list of candidates to replace Quique Setien as Villarreal manager.

Setien was relieved of his duties after last Friday’s 3-1 defeat to Cadiz left Villarreal 15th in La Liga after four games.

Expectations were pretty low going into 2023/24 but one win from four matches in the league was deemed nowhere near good enough, with Setien’s decision to bench Dani Parejo against Cadiz raising many eyebrows.

A report from Spanish outlet Relevo breaks down the list of managers being considered by Villarreal, and Potter is included.

Out of work after being sacked by Chelsea in April, Potter has reportedly turned down the opportunity to join Ligue 1 outfit Lyon.

The latest report from Relevo says Potter is joined on the Spanish club’s wishlist by ex-Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui, ex-Rangers manager Giovani van Bronckhorst, Marcelo Gallardo, Javi Gracia, Rodolfo Arruabarrena, Juan José Rojo Martin, and Real Madrid legend Raul.

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It is noted that Lopetegui, who left Wolves shortly before the Premier League season kicked off, is ‘liked a lot’ but has snubbed any interest from Villarreal.

On Potter, it is claimed that he has ‘generated special attention’ within the Villarreal hierarchy after ‘achieving success at Brighton and empowering the younger players’.

The former Chelsea head coach does have the ‘handicap’ of ‘not knowing’ La Liga, but he is being ‘seriously’ considered.

Having rejected Lyon, it would be quite surprising to see Potter make the move to Villarreal.

Managing abroad for the first time is a brave thing to do and if the 48-year-old is to bite the bullet, you would expect it to be for a club competing in Europe.

Villarreal are in the Europa League, so that does make them a more attracting proposition than Lyon, who are currently bottom of Ligue 1 with one point from a possible 12.

Sunday’s 4-1 home defeat to Paris Saint-Germain did not go down well at all with the clubs supporters, with one fan grabbing a microphone at full-time to berate the players, who stood sheepishly as the man ranted his heart out.

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