West Brom have appointed Sam Allardyce as their new head coach, just hours after sacking Slaven Bilic.
The Baggies parted ways with Bilic despite a resilient performance in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City on Tuesday.
However, reports emerged after the game that West Brom had already made their decision, which was confirmed on Wednesday.
Allardyce – who has been out of management since a short-lived spell at Everton in 2017-18 – was reportedly the frontrunner to replace Bilic and the former England boss has now been confirmed as West Brom’s head coach.
The 66-year-old, who has previously helped stabilise and keep up struggling sides such as Sunderland and Crystal Palace, has managed 512 times in the top flight – only Arsene Wenger (828), Alex Ferguson (810), Harry Redknapp (641) and David Moyes (557) have managed more games in the division.
Allardyce, whose main success as a manager came in a stint at Bolton between 1999 and 2007, has signed an 18-month contract, with his long-time assistant Sammy Lee also on board.
We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Sam Allardyce as our new Head Coach
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) December 16, 2020
His first match in charge of his eighth Premier League club will be a west midlands derby against Aston Villa on Sunday.
It is the fifth time Allardyce has taken on a Premier League job mid-season – on each previous occasion, he has guided the team to a higher position than when he arrived.
After keeping Sunderland in the top tier in 2016, Allardyce was appointed as England manager, though his tenure came to an end after just one game after he was secretly recorded offering to help undercover reporters navigate FA third-party ownership rules.
West Brom’s sporting and technical director, Luke Dowling told the club’s official website: “In Sam we have a man who has a proven Premier League pedigree with a track record of improving every club he has managed.
“We believe and, more importantly, Sam believes we have a group of players that have the quality needed to give the club its best chance of Premier League survival.”