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Ex-Watford manager Javi Gracia appointed Valencia boss on a two-year deal

Former Watford boss Javi Gracia has been named first-team coach of LaLiga side Valencia on a two-year deal.

The 50-year-old led Watford to 11th place in the Premier League and the FA Cup final last season, but was sacked in September after a poor start to this campaign from which the Hornets – relegated to the Championship on Sunday – never recovered.

Valencia got through almost as many managers as Watford in the 2019-20 season, with Gracia the third man to take charge since it kicked off after the sackings of Marcelino in September last year and Albert Celades last month.

Los Che finished ninth this season, unable to live up to a fourth-placed finish and Copa del Rey success during the previous campaign.

The former Malaga and Cadiz coach said he wanted to nurture Valencia’s young talent to find the balance that can bring them success.

‘We like talking about good football and attacking play but the success of teams really comes through having balance, and we will try to find that with the great squad and good players we have,’ Gracia said in a video posted on the club’s official website.

‘I think the talent that exists within the squad is vital.’

However, one of Gracia’s first tasks could be to persuade 20-year-old forward Ferran Torres to stay as he is strongly linked with Manchester City.

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