After impressing with Spanish club Alaves, Mauricio Pellegrino has been confirmed as the manager of Southampton. Max Liu considers the credentials and qualities that the Argentinian will bring to St Mary's.
"If Pellegrino is anywhere near as successful as Pochettino was at Southampton, the 45-year-old will have turned out to be an excellent appointment."
Mauricio Pellegrino was in contention for the manager's job at Crystal Palace but, with Frank de Boer's appointment all but confirmed, he has been snapped up by Southampton.
Pellegrino becomes only the second Argentinian to manage in the Premier League. The first? Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham boss who was previously Southampton manager. The pair are said to be good friends and, if Pellegrino is anywhere near as successful as Pochettino was at Southampton, the 45-year-old will have turned out to be an excellent appointment.
Mind you, expectations are high on the south-coast these days. Southampton finished eighth in the Premier League last season but still decided to sack manager Claude Puel who also took them to the League Cup final, which they lost narrowly to Manchester United. If Pellegrino is to still be in charge at St Mary's this time next year, he will probably need to surpass Puel's achievements and get his team playing attractive football (scoring the odd goal at home might help as well).
The signs are promising. Pellegrino speaks fluent English and knows about Premier League football, in part due to playing under Rafael Benitez at Liverpool then also working as his assistant at Anfield for two years.
Pellegrino has managed clubs in Argentina but it was his work last season at Alaves that attracted most praise, with the club finishing an impressive ninth in La Liga and reaching the final of the Copa del Rey against Barcelona.