Aston Villa are considering a move to appoint Paulo Fonseca as Dean Smith’s successor at Villa Park.
That’s according to a report by the Daily Record, who claim that Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow is finalising his shortlist of candidates for the vacant Villa managerial position on Tuesday, with one of the targets identified being the former AS Roma manager.
The report continues to state that Fonseca’s representatives have already contacted Villa in order to formally throw the 48-year-old’s hat into the ring, suggesting that the Portuguese coach would be more than willing to take over from Smith.
While Aston Villa’s precarious 16th place league position would lend favour to the club appointing a coach who boasts the previous experience of Premier League management – as, should a foreign coach fail to adapt their style of play to the English game quickly enough, the results could well be disastrous for Villa – Fonseca may well be a candidate who is worth the risk for NSWE.
Indeed, having led FC Pacos de Ferreira to a highly impressive third-place finish in Liga NOS back in 2012/13, the 48-year-old repeated a similar feat with SC Braga a few years later – sealing a fourth-place finish in the league and winning the Portuguese Cup with Os Arcebispos.
This led to Shakhtar Donetsk appointing Fonseca in the summer of 2016, with the Ukrainian side going on to win three consecutive league titles under the Portuguese manager, in addition to three Ukrainian Cups, one Ukrainian Super Cup and reaching the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017/18.
Once again, this led to another step up for the 48-year-old, being handed a two-year deal by Serie A side Roma in 2019, with former club president Jim Pallotta stating upon his arrival: “Paulo is a young and ambitious coach with international experience, a winning mentality and a reputation for bold, attacking football that will excite our fans.”
However, despite leading I Giallorossi to an impressive fifth-place finish and reaching the Europa League round of 16 during his debut season in Rome, Fonseca left the club just one season later, following a slightly underwhelming seventh-place finish in Serie A and being trounced 8-4 on aggregate by Manchester United in the Europa League semi-final.
Despite this final season at Roma, however, it is clear to see that the man who Massimo Ambrosini dubbed a “modern” manager is a coach who has a history of achieving success with a number of unfavoured sides, as well as one who can get his team playing bold, exciting and attacking football – all of which suggest that the 48-year-old could well be worthy of a shot at Villa Park.