News of Garry Monk’s Leeds United departure surprised many on Thursday afternoon and bookmakers were quick to draw up the odds on his successor.
With the Yorkshire club’s chequered recent history of managerial appointments, the current pool of unemployed coaches provides a minefield of uncertain options.
But here are two candidates sure to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Aitor Karanka – 11/10 with Sky Bet
The short-odds instant favourite, Spaniard Karanka has a proven track record in the Championship.
There are sure to be question marks: Monk did a great job in his one season at Elland Road, setting a high bar for his replacement. Karanka, meanwhile, endured the most difficult campaign of his managerial career to date.
The former Middlesbrough boss was heavily criticised for being far too defensive in the Premier League. In the second tier, however, his Boro side had no such problems.
His pragmatism should ensure a stable back line and his experience as no.2 at Real Madrid means he’ll be able to work with – and perhaps attract – a higher calibre of player.
Slavisa Jokanovic – 18/1 with Sky Bet
Another manager who could prove difficult to lure, having developed a rapport with fans at current club Fulham, Jokanovic would surely succeed at Elland Road.
The Serb’s brand of football took the Championship by storm this season and he was ultimately able to go one step further than Monk’s achievements with Leeds, even though Reading proved too strong over two legs in the Play-Off Semi-Final.
Not only has Jokanovic succeeded in reaching the Play-Offs with a less-fancied side, though, the 48-year-old has also secured automatic promotion to the Premier League in the past.
He took a Watford side up in 2014-15 who are still reaping the rewards of top-flight football as a result.
There is plenty of talent available for Leeds, then; it’s just a matter of picking the right man.
Written by Timothy Poole
Follow Timothy on Twitter @TimPooleSport
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