Leicester have appointed Craig Shakespeare as head coach of the 2016 Premier League champions on a three-year deal, after a successful stint as caretaker manager.
The 53-year-old took over from the sacked Premier League winning manager Claudio Ranieri back in February and guided the club from just one-point above the dropzone to a 12th place finish last season.
In a statement on the club’s website, Shakespeare is delighted at having the chance to continue what he has started over the past four months and looks forward to helping the club climb back up the table next season.
“I am grateful to the owners for their continued faith and support,” said the former midfielder.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for me to continue along this new path in my career and to continue to work with a club and a group of staff I have grown extremely close to.
“Our preparations for pre-season and the new Premier League campaign have been on-going for some time, but we can now move on with certainty and ensure we are well equipped to compete at the levels now expected of a club like Leicester City.”
Shakespeare joined Leicester for a second time in 2011 as assistant under former boss Nigel Pearson and also served as Ranieri’s number two in their Premier League winning campaign in the 2015/16 season.
The Birmingham man won eight of his 16 games in charge of the Foxes, including winning all of his first five games in charge and also reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Leicester’s Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said Shakespeare’s knowledge and respect for the club was key in helping them decide that he was the right man to bring success to the club.
“Craig has built a unique insight into the catalysts for success at Leicester,” said the Thai billionaire.
“Craig has shown all the qualities in leadership, motivation and talent management that are required to be successful in this role. His knowledge of Leicester City and the respect he has earned at every level of the club make him the ideal choice to help take us forward.
“Our primary objective for the coming years is to successfully translate the extraordinary experiences of the last two seasons into lessons that will strengthen and enhance the club’s pursuit of its long-term vision of sustainable success.”
It comes to no surprise that Craig Shakespeare has been handed the Leicester manager’s job on a permanent basis, after a huge success as caretaker boss over the past four months.
He collected 23 points in his 13 Premier League games as he helped them from relegation trouble to just missing out on a top-half finish, including winning his first five league games in charge.
He also helped them overturn a first leg deficit against Sevilla to become the only English side to reach the last eight of the Champions League, before being edged out by Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals.
Shakespeare will no doubt want to build on that success but it is going to be tough for the former assistant manager, especially if star players like Riyad Mharez leave in the transfer window.
I am not sure if he is the right man for the long-term at Leicester but even if he does not last the season, I don’t think we will be seeing Leicester in a relegation battle next season and should comfortably finish mid-table.