As it is with most managerial hires, the newly appointed figure tends to bring along their own staff, and that’s the case again here with newly appointed Thomas Christiansen.
According to Spanish site Siete Semanal (here’s the link: https://www.sietesemanal.com/deportes/17186.php), Christiansen will be appointing his former assistant Julio Bañuelos for the same role. Bañuelos and Christiansen have had a successful relationship together, as the duo has won a lot of games with APOEL Nicosia as well as AEK Larnaca, Christiansen’s employer prior to APOEL.
A graduate of the Real Madrid academy, Bañuelos had a lengthy career in Spanish football, appearing for the likes of CD Mirandés and Deportivo Aragón, AKA Real Zaragoza’s B team. He’s been in management since 2001, after being appointed the manager of UE Lleida’s youth teams. After a year with Els Blaus Bañuelos joined Alavés’ youth team, and slowly worked his way up within the Babazorros coaching ranks. After three years with the youth team, Bañuelos was appointed the manager of Alavés’ B team, and a year later was appointed the manager of the senior team. However, he left after only two league matches due to “personal reasons”. Two years later, in 2008, he had another short stint with the club as he was reappointed as manager. Later on, in that same year, Bañuelos joined CD Mirandés. His first year with Los Rojillos was a successful one, as they achieved promotion back to the Segunda División B. He left the club in 2010, and in April of 2011 was appointed the boss of Burgos CF. After bringing the club back to the third level on the Spanish footballing pyramid, he was sacked the following October. Bañuelos was appointed the manager of UE Olot in 2013 but was relieved of his duties five months later. It was after this sacking when Bañuelos’ path crossed Christiansen’s, as he was assistant of AEK Larnaca, where Christiansen got his first head coaching gig. The duo then joined APOEL Nicosia after two years at AEK, and look to be continuing their journey together at Leeds.
It’s a smart appointment, but this means that more likely than not, Pep Clotet will get his walking papers from Leeds United. The Spaniard followed Garry Monk to the club, and at one point was pegged to be the new manager of the Whites. It sucks, because I like Pep. I think, for the most part, we all did. He was well liked within the club. But it’s a sad essential that has to happen. PC losing his job at Leeds is collateral damage from Garry Monk leaving. Pep doesn’t run the same scheme as Thomas Christiansen does; this would be a different story if he did. But in order for Andrea Radrizzani to fully buy into Thomas Christiansen’s brand of football, he has to bring down parts of the foundation Garry Monk built, and let Christiansen sculpt his own. Where Pep may end up next is still up in the air, but it won’t be the biggest surprise if he follows Monk one more time as the duo try to establish something at Middlesbrough.