Aston Villa are considering a move to appoint Kasper Hjulmand as Dean Smith’s successor at Villa Park.
That’s according to a claim made by Rob Dorsett, with the journalist revealing on Sky Sports that the Denmark manager is one of the names on Aston Villa’s shortlist of candidates to fill the vacant managerial position in the Villa Park dugout.
Dorsett went on to claim that Villa’s sporting director, Johan Lange, is a big fan of the 49-year-old coach, as well as suggesting that Hjulmand will be brought in for an interview at the club.
In his comments, the journalist said: “The Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand is also on their list. He’s very well known by the sporting director [at Aston Villa], Johan Lange, who himself is Danish. I expect him to be interviewed – but I suspect he’s a bit of an outsider for the role, as I see things at the moment.”
Considering the rather remarkable job Hjulmand has done since being appointed as the Denmark manager in the summer of last year, in addition to achieving equally as impressive results during his time in charge of FC Nordsjaelland, it is easy to see why Lange is such a fan of the 49-year-old coach.
Indeed, after being promoted from Morten Wieghorst’s assistant manager to first-team coach at Nordsjaelland back in 2011, Hjulmand went on to guide the Danish side to their first-ever Superligaen title during his debut campaign at Farum Park, pipping FC Copenhagen to the league on the final day of the season.
The following campaign, Hjulmand once again defied expectations with Nordsjaelland, securing a second-place finish in the league, as well as earning what is perhaps the most famous point in the club’s short history – in the form of a 1-1 draw with Italian giants Juventus in the group stage of the Champions League.
As a result of these massive overachievements, Bundesliga side 1.FSV Mainz 05 took a chance on the 49-year-old manager in 2014, although he returned to Denmark and Nordsjaelland after winning just four of his 21 games in charge of the German side.
After a further three solid seasons at Farum Park, Hjulmand eventually left the club in 2019, before being appointed as the Denmark national team coach in the summer of 2020.
And, the Dane once again defied the odds with De Rod-Hvide at Euro 2020, guiding his side to the semi-final of the competition, narrowly missing out on qualification for the final as a result of Harry Kane’s extra-time penalty.
As such, while it is true that Hjulmand does not have much experience of managing in one of Europe’s big five leagues, the 49-year-old’s knack of overachieving with the teams he has coached could well be enough to convince the Villa board to take a chance on the Dane.