Javi Gracia appoints four Spanish assistants at Watford

Left to right: Iñigo Arteaga, Juan Solla, Javi Gracia, Jesús Casas, Zigor Aranalde

Left to right: Iñigo Arteaga, Juan Solla, Javi Gracia, Jesús Casas, Zigor Aranalde

NEW Watford manager Javi Gracia has appointed four Spanish assistants to work with him at Vicarage Road.

Gracia took over on Sunday, shortly after the announcement that the club had terminated the contract of Marco Silva. Following Silva through the exit door were his three long-time lieutenants, Goncalo Pedro, João Pedro Sousa and Hugo Oliveira.

In their place, Gracia has brought in four of his compatriots.

Juan Solla, 42, worked alongside Gracia at Cádiz, Villarreal B, Malaga and, most recently, Rubin Kazan. Jesus Casas, 44, spent three years at Barcelona, working as part of Luis Enrique’s coaching set-up, before joining the Cádiz Academy last summer.

It was during a previous spell with the Spanish outfit that Casas worked with their then-manager Gracia.

Inigo Arteaga, 45, comes in as goalkeeping coach, having fulfilled the same role for Gracia at Cádiz, Villarreal B, Olympiakos Volou, Kerkyra, Almeria, Osasuna, Malaga and Rubin Kazan.

Finally, Zigor Aranalde has been brought in from Mallorca, where he was a senior scout. The Spaniard provides Gracia with some much-needed knowledge of English football, having played as a left-back for the likes of Walsall and Sheffield Wednesday, before becoming International Scouting and Recruitment Manager at Brighton under Gus Poyet.

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