Jose Mourinho is heading back to the Premier League.
Tottenham Hotspur officially announced Mourinho as its new manager late Tuesday night, which was early morning United Kingdom time, less than 24 hours after sacking veteran boss Mauricio Pochettino.
“I am excited to be joining a Club with such a great heritage and such passionate supporters,” Mourinho said in a statement. “The quality in both the squad and the academy excites me. Working with these players is what has attracted me.”
Reports began to surface Tuesday evening that Mourinho was going to get the job. The 56-year-old Portuguese has signed a contract that runs through the 2022-23 season, according to the club.
Mourinho takes over a Spurs side that’s limped out of the gate this campaign, sitting 14th in the table with just 14 points from 12 matches. Tottenham hasn’t won a league game since Sept. 28.
That said, there’s still plenty of talent in a side that reached the Champions League final last season and has finished top-four the past four seasons, including Harry Kane, Dele Alli and others.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho was introduced on Wednesday. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
In his first comments with the club, Mourinho emphasized Tottenham’s track record of developing top-tier prospects.
“I always told about the club’s potential. I always told about the qualities of the players. I always told the magnificent work the club was doing,” Mourinho said. “I really like this squad and looking to the young players. There is not one manager in the world that doesn’t like to play young players and to help young players develop.”
A three-time Premier League champion across two stints with Chelsea, Mourinho has been out of coaching since being sacked by Manchester United last December. He finished second in the league 2018 with the Red Devils, and he’s also won the Champions League with both Porto and Inter Milan, as well as La Liga with Real Madrid.
Known as the “Special One” since his famous introductory press conference with Chelsea, Mourinho, 56, undeniably has a winning pedigree. But he’s also regularly clashed with stars, ruffled feathers within club hierarchies, and was unceremoniously dumped from his last three jobs.
Furthermore, Mourinho is known for his relatively negative tactics, which see his sides bunker to preserve points rather than attack in more open, exciting fashion.
Either way, it’s a gamble Tottenham Hotspur is now going to take.
“In Jose we have one of the most successful managers in football.” Spurs club chairman Daniel Levy said in the statement. “He has a wealth of experience, can inspire teams and is a great tactician. He has won honours at every club he has coached. We believe he will bring energy and belief to the dressing room.”
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