LONDON, United Kingdom, June 30 – Southampton on Thursday named Frenchman Claude Puel as their new coach on a three-year deal.
The 54-year-old former Monaco and Nice boss replaces Ronald Koeman, who left for English Premier League rivals Everton earlier this summer.
Former Aston Villa coach Eric Black has been named as Puel’s assistant.
“Claude clearly came out on top of a very impressive shortlist. We have not only got the best man, but the right coaching team to support him,” said Southampton’s executive director of football Les Reed.
“Eric Black has an excellent pedigree as a coach and vast experience domestically and internationally. Pascal Plancque has an excellent record as a technical coach and, like Claude, has been responsible for developing many young French talents into top quality players.
“Claude has a fantastic platform to work from and is aware that our ambition is to repeat and improve on our performances in the Premier League over the past three seasons.
“Claude has a track record of improving the situations he has been presented with and we are confident he can repeat this at Southampton.”
Puel, who as a player turned out more than 500 games for Monaco, last season guided Nice to fourth in France.
As well as his run to the Champions League and French League victory at Monaco, Puel also led Lyon to the Champions League semi-final in 2010, and guided Lille to a 2004 Intertoto Cup and a French league runners up spot in 2005.
“His Champions League and European experience will be valuable in our Europa League challenge this coming season and with the support of our excellent staff at the club I am sure he will do well,” Reed said of Puel.
“We are once again excited about what the new season will bring, and we will continue to chase records as we have done in recent years.”