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Leicester City confirm Enzo Maresca replacement ahead of Premier League return

Leicester confirm Maresca replacement ahead of Premier League return
© Reuters
Leicester City confirm Enzo Maresca's successor ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Leicester City have announced that they have appointed Steve Cooper as their new head coach.

The Championship title winners have been searching for a successor for a number of weeks having seen Enzo Maresca offered the opportunity to join Chelsea.

West Bromwich Albion's Carlos Corberan and former Chelsea boss Graham Potter had both been linked with the position at different stages of the process.

However, the Foxes hierarchy have instead turned to Cooper, a manager who made his name by getting East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest promoted to the top flight just two years ago.

Cooper, who has been out of work since the back end of 2023, has penned a three-year contract at the King Power Stadium.

What have Cooper, Srivaddhanaprabha had to say?

Speaking on his arrival, Cooper said: "I am really excited and proud to be appointed Leicester City's First Team Manager. This is a fantastic club with a rich history and passionate supporters.

"I am excited to work with such a talented squad and I'm looking forward to the challenge of achieving our shared ambitions in the Premier League."

Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha added: "We are delighted to welcome Steve to Leicester City. His vision for the team, including his ability to develop players and implement a dynamic style of play, is very much aligned with our aspirations for the club.

"As a leader, he has the ability to build on the strong relationship that has been forged between our fans and our team, strengthening a bond that will be vital to us re-establishing the club in the Premier League."

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper before the match on November 5, 2023© Reuters

Are Leicester fans likely to accept Cooper appointment?

This is not the first time that Leicester have appointed a former Nottingham Forest manager. Back in 2007, Gary Megson took on his second East Midlands role and last just nine matches and 41 days.

Leicester fans will expect and demand far more from Cooper, whose reputation was enhanced during his time at Forest despite being sacked in December.

Cooper left with a 38.89% win percentage, an impressive return given that a year-and-a-half was spent in the Premier League after their promotion in 2022.

Forest had been bottom of the Championship table after eight games upon Cooper's arrival. During the following 38 matches, Forest delivered the best points total in the division and were ultimately promoted through the playoffs.

Furthermore, Cooper built up such a rapport with the fanbase that many did not want a change of direction when it was enforced by Forest's hierarchy. Cooper will be hoping he can form the same bond 45 minutes down the road.

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