Former Ivory Coast International Kolo Toure has been named as the coach of Wigan Athletic, the English championship side has announced.
Toure who has been working as first-team coach at Leicester since February 2019; arrives at the club on a three-and-half deal.
The 41-year old becomes the first African international to manage in English senior football.
The former Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool defender replaced Leam Richardson who was sacked on November 10.
He will be in charge of Wigan’s league game against Millwall at the Den on Saturday, December 10.
His main task will be helping Wigan survive the drop as the side sit 22nd with 23 points, third from the bottom.
“We are delighted that Kolo has become the new manager of Wigan Athletic Football Club, and the Board are pleased that he is the man to take us forward,” Chief Executive Malachy Brannigan said as quoted by the club website.
“We received a high calibre of applicants for the manager’s job in recent weeks, in a very thorough recruitment process as we looked to appoint the right person for the role.
“From the earliest of conversations we had with Kolo, it was evident to us that he had instantly bought into the values of the Club – with his enthusiasm, knowledge and immense desire to work and be part of Wigan Athletic shining throughout the process.
“There is no doubt that this appointment is an exciting one for the Football Club. Kolo is a manager who wants to play a positive brand of football and will strive every day to make the Club stronger.”
Joining Toure are Kevin Betsy and Ashvir Johal in a backroom staff that also has Rob Kelly while James Beatie has left the club.
Toure will be flying out to Turkey to meet up with the First Team, who are currently on a mid-season training camp, the Club has confirmed.
Win for Africa
English tabloid, a week back, broke the news and claimed that Wigan first approached his brother Yaya Toure who declined the role.
But nonetheless, it’s a big win for Africa and Toure in particular and a show of confidence for the defender who won the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast back in 2015.
More to his CV are two Premier League titles including one at Arsenal as part of the ‘Invincibles’, two FA Cups, two Scottish Premiership titles among others.
Having played under some of the best coaches in Europe including Arsene Wenger, Roberto Mancini, Jurgen Klopp and Brendan Rogers, Toure will be banking on this to live as advertised.
Africans have struggled to breakthrough as head coaches in European leagues mostly in English Football, but Toure might have kicked the door.
South African Benni McCarthy as recently appointed by Manchester United as strikers’ coach while Yaya is currently at Tottenham Touré was appointed as a Youth Coach.