Manchester City have appointed Spanish football coach Juan Manuel Lillo as Pep Guardiola’s assistant coach. Lillo will fill the void left by Mikel Arteta, who departed to become head coach at Arsenal.
Juan Manuel Lillo Appointed to Replace Mikel Arteta as Manchester City Assistant
Relationship with Guardiola
Mikel Arteta left his position as Pep’s assistant in December after being persuaded to take the helm at the Emirates Stadium. Guardiola has taken his time to carefully select a replacement for Arteta, whom he had a very good relationship with. Juan Manuel Lillo is the man Guardiola has opted to trust.
“I am delighted to have joined Manchester City’s coaching staff.” Lillo said, “My relationship with Pep goes back many years and I am thrilled to be joining him as part of his exciting team.”
Lillo coached Guardiola as a player at Mexican side Dorados de Sinaola towards the end of Pep’s playing career.
Looking Forward to Contributing
Lillo said: “Manchester City has enjoyed much success over recent seasons and played a brand of beautiful football we have come to expect from this club and its manager.”
“It’s a pleasure to become part of this group and I hope to make an important contribution to the club’s success going forward,” Lillo added.
Lillo will be looking to help Manchester City get their hands back on the Premier League title in 2020/21 as it looks all-but gone this campaign.
This is the clearest sign yet that Pep Guardiola is committed to the club, despite the Champions League ban. City’s appeal at CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) is due to be heard this week.
Back in 1995-96, Juan Manuel Lillo became the youngest La Liga coach ever at 29-years-old; at the time, he was in charge of UD Salamanca. He was dismissed after 28 games in charge, with the club in the relegation zone.
Lillo has filled many a hot seat. Having managed the likes of Mirandes, Real Oviedo, Real Zaragoza and Real Sociedad, among others. He is now 54-years-old and has experience in filling the number 2 role too. Working under Jorge Sampaoli at both Chile and Sevilla.
The Spanish coach arrives in Manchester having guided Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai to the Chinese League One title, securing promotion to the Super League.
Lillo has worked with some of the world’s best players in Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Yaya Toure.
What The Director of Football Says
Txiki Begiristain said: “We are delighted to welcome Juanma to Manchester City.”
“His vast experience working across three continents and with some of the famous names in world football will be an invaluable asset to Pep and his team.”
“We look forward to him playing a vital role as we return to football.” Begiristain concluded.