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5 things about Francesco Guidolin

Published 18/01/2016

Francesco Guidolin is the new head coach of Swansea
Francesco Guidolin is the new head coach of Swansea

Former Udinese boss Francesco Guidolin has been named Swansea's new head coach.

The Italian, who will work alongside Alan Curtis at the Liberty Stadium, has an interesting CV.

Here, Press Association Sport's James Cann looks at five things Swans fans should know about their new man.

1. He knows a thing or two about Swansea's next opponents

When Guidolin called time on his four-season stint as Udinese boss in May 2014, he kept working with the club's owners, the Pozzo family.

His brief was to supervise the three teams under the Pozzos' control - namely Udinese, Granada, and Watford.

And when Slavisa Jokanovic left Vicarage Road in the summer, Guidolin was almost asked to step in before the position ultimately went to Quique Sanchez Flores.

Furthermore, Odion Ighalo, Allan Nyom, Almen Abdi and Joel Ekstrand worked with him at Udinese.

2. He could have moved to England nine years ago

"I would be pleased to have a professional adventure in England." In October 2007 an out-of-work Guidolin thanked QPR for their interest in him but turned down the chance to replace John Gregory.

The Loftus Road job went instead to Luigi De Canio - with then-owner Flavio Briatore determined to bring some Italian flair to the Shepherd's Bush outfit, who were then struggling in the Championship.

3. He failed to win big in Monte Carlo

Guidolin has coached outside of Italy only once before in his career. He signed a two-year deal with ambitious Monaco in 2005 but left the principality after a poor 10th-placed finish in his first season.

The Venetian was soon back at Palermo, the club he had previously restored to Serie A after a 35-year absence. Under his stewardship, the Sicilians finished fifth in 2007 to reach the UEFA Cup.

4. He is a promotion expert

This may be a bitter pill to swallow for Swans fans but it could well taste a lot sweeter in a year's time.

Guidolin forged his career in Italy on masterminding a series of improbable promotions. His unfancied Vicenza side climbed out of Serie B to win the Coppa Italia and qualify for Europe in the late 1990s.

He got the best out of Luca Toni as the striker hit 30 goals to fire Palermo into the top flight and when Parma suffered a shock relegation in 2008, Guidolin helped them bounce back immediately.

5. He turned Alexis Sanchez into the player he is today

Guidolin cannot claim to have recruited Sanchez himself - the Chilean arrived at the Stadio Friuli two years before him, in 2008 - but he certainly got the best out of the man from Tocopilla.

He is credited with transforming Sanchez from a winger into the creative forward who now provides such a formidable goalscoring threat for Arsenal. Sanchez was key to Udinese's fourth and third-placed finishes in Serie A, which brought about entry to the Champions League's qualifying rounds.

The likes of Jefferson Montero and Andre Ayew - or even Marvin Emnes - could surely benefit from an arm around the shoulder from the knowledgeable Italian.

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