Swansea City showed that they intend to maintain Brendan Rodgers' style of play by yesterday appointing Michael Laudrup to replace him. The Danish legend, himself a believer in passing football, has signed a two-year deal, bringing him to British football for the first time.
"We are delighted with the appointment," said the Swansea chairman, Huw Jenkins. "Michael has a clear picture and understanding of what we require at Swansea City to build on all the good work and strides we have made over the last few years as a football club."
Laudrup, who left his last job at Mallorca in 2011, said that he hoped to continue in the same vein as last season. Rodgers introduced a progressive 4-3-3 system, with the emphasis on passing and pressing, guiding Swansea out of the Championship and up to 11th place in the Premier League. Rodgers was appointed Liverpool manager earlier this month.
"I've spoken to many people about Swansea and watched a number of their games on DVD –with many more to watch," Laudrup confirmed. "Everyone knows the style of football Swansea play and it suits my way of thinking."
Jenkins praised Laudrup's personal qualities as well as his football education as both a player and manager. "There is no doubt about his standing as one of the game's greatest footballers, but we also see the qualities he has as a manager," said the Swansea chairman of the 43-year-old former striker.
"We see Michael as someone who is fully committed and educated in all aspects of the way we want to take the club forward."
"Our overall aim is to build on our first season in the Premier League, but we also fully understand the need to adapt our approach as we go along to remain competitive season after season. Part of that process is to look at new ideas and increase our knowledge on all aspects of the game to keep advancing.
"Everyone I have spoken to about Michael during this appointment process can't speak highly enough about him, not just as a football man, but as a person. I'm confident that Michael will prove a fantastic acquisition that will help keep this football club moving forward.'
Laudrup's managerial career started at Brondby where he won a Danish title and two cups between 2002 and 2006. From there he went to Spanish side Getafe, where his ambitious football took them to a Copa del Rey final and a Uefa Cup quarter-final. After a brief spell at Spartak Moscow, Laudrup returned to Spain with Mallorca, whom he kept in the top flight despite problems with the board.
"I've spoken to the chairman and I'm very pleased to sign for Swansea City,'' said Laudrup. "It's going to be a new experience for me and I'm really looking forward to it."
As a player Laudrup won titles with Juventus, Real Madrid and Ajax but was most famous for his spell at Barcelona.
Part of the "Dream Team" managed by Johan Cruyff in the early 1990s, Laudrup helped win four consecutive Spanish titles, a Copa del Rey and the 1992 European Cup, in a talented team which included Ronald Koeman, Hristo Stoichkov and Pep Guardiola.
Laudrup: Swansea's great Dane
Born 15 June 1964, Frederiksberg, Denmark
1981-82 KB (14 games, 3 goals)
1982-83 Brondby (38/24)
1983-89 Juventus (102/16)
1983-85 Lazio [loan] (60/9)
1989-94 Barcelona (167/49)
1994-96 Real Madrid (62/12)
1996-97 Vissel Kobe (15/6)
1997-98 Ajax (21/11)
104 caps for Denmark in which he scored 37 goals
2008-09 Spartak Moscow