Huddersfield next permanent manager odds
Few knew what to expect when former United States striker David Wagner was unveiled as the new manager of Championship club Huddersfield Town back in 2015.
Wagner had departed Borussia Dortmund II, where he had been manager since 2011, just a few days earlier, and it was expected that he had quit the role to join former Dortmund first-team boss Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. However, it was Huddersfield who got their man.
Despite a disappointing first season, in which they finished 19th, The Terriers started the 2016/17 season remarkably well, winning five of their opening six games to propel themselves into first place in the Championship table. Their form has dipped since, but they have kept up their pursuit of Premier League football, with Wagner’s man management abilities thought to be a major factor in their early season success.
Unsurprisingly, Huddersfield’s league position has caught plenty of eyes, with a number of struggling clubs attempting to snatch Wagner, now viewed as one of the game’s most highly rated up-and-coming managers, away from them. The likes of Derby, Norwich and Aston Villa have all expressed an interest already this season, while Bundesliga club FC Ingolstadt have also made an approach.
The Bundesliga would have been a huge step up for the emerging boss, yet he has so far rejected all approaches to stay with Huddersfield. However, the interest in their man will have worried the club, which will undoubtedly have a contingency plan in place should he choose to leave.
It will be a difficult task to replace Wagner without the club going backwards. If their goal is to make it to the top flight, a manager with Premier League experience would be the obvious choice.
Tim Sherwood has recently taken on the role of Director of Football with League One club Swindon Town, but the offer of a return to full time management could convince him to join.
His time at Aston Villa was disappointing, yet he guided Tottenham to a sixth place finish just a few months into his managerial career. The top flight might be a step too high for Sherwood, but he would undoubtedly perform well at Championship level.
If the club are looking for Championship experience, Nigel Pearson might be worth a shot. The former Derby manager guided Leicester City from League One to the Premier League between 2011 and 2015 and could be just the man to take the club to the next level.
However, Huddersfield might be better off looking a little further away from home. Mark Warburton was brilliant at Brentford and has continued to show his knack for management while guiding Rangers back to the Scottish Premiership. Warburton’s club currently sit in second place, behind only Celtic, in their first season back in the top flight. Although, Warburton is unlikely to bail on his current project before the end of the season.
If the club are set on challenging for a place in the Premier League, they will need a manager to match their ambitions. Everybody at the club will be hoping that Wagner remains for now, as he has taken The Terriers to the next level. Yet, as his reputation continues to grow, they will only be able to hold on to their manager for so long.