Bayer Leverkusen have announced the appointment of Xabi Alonso as their new manager, trusting him with a deal until the summer of 2024.
The Basque manager takes his first job in management at the top level, having previously worked with the reserve side at Real Sociedad B. He got the junior Txuri-Urdin side promoted to the second tier for the first time since the 1960s two years ago. Things went less smoothly in Segunda, as La Real were promptly relegated.
Alonso is regarded as one of the more talented managerial talents coming through. He was closely linked with Borussia Moenchengladbach in recent years and it appears the Bundesliga values him as highly, if not higher, than those in Spain.
It will not be a smooth transition. Bayer Leverkusen sit 17th in the Bundesliga, having won just one of their matches, just as in the Champions League. Alonso will be back in Spain before too long, as Leverkusen travel to face Atletico Madrid in the coming weeks in the Champions League.