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The youngest managers in Premier League history as Brighton hire 31-year-old

Brighton have this week made history by signing one of the youngest managers in Premier League history. 

Roberto De Zerbi has been replaced in the Seagulls’ dugout by Fabian Hurzeler, who is just 31 years of age. Some of his own players will be older than him, including 38-year-old James Milner.

Only two people have taken charge of a Premier League team at a younger age than the German coach; Ryan Mason and Attilio Lombardo.

Both of those men, though, were interim appointments, meaning Hurzeler is the youngest full-timer to manage an English top-flight club since the breakaway in 1992.

Hurzeler is a typically left-field appointment for Brighton, who will be looking to improve upon their 11th-placed finish from last season.

“Brighton have a unique history and a bold vision for the future so I am truly excited to be part of the project,” he said. “The club has made incredible progress over the last few seasons and the aim is to continue building on that success.”

The list of youngest Premier League managers is a mixed bag – can Hurzeler emulate the success of some of his predecessors? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Youngest Premier League managers in history:

5. Gianluca Vialli – 33 years and 242 days

In March 1998, Gianluca Vialli was named Chelsea player-manager, replacing another player-manager in Ruud Gullit. The Italian led the Blues to glory in the League and Uefa Cup Winners’ Cup that season, before going on to claim the Uefa Super Cup, the FA Cup and Charity Shield over the next two years.

Vialli’s reign ended abruptly in September 2000 after falling out with his playing squad, but the late striker is remembered fondly. He passed away in 2023 from pancreatic cancer, just two years after helping Italy win the European Championship as assistant to Roberto Mancini.

Iconic Duos – The goal twins Mancini and Vialli

4. Chris Coleman – 32 years and 236 days

The Welsh defender’s playing career was ended through injury following a car crash, so he began his coaching career by joining the staff at Fulham. He was soon vaulted into the dugout, however, when he replaced manager Jean Tigana in March 2003.

Coleman was initially held a caretaker role, but after being made the permanent successor he led the Cottagers to a ninth-placed finished in his first full season in charge. He lasted four years in the job before being sacked in April 2007.

3. Attilio Lombardo – 32 years and 67 days

A serial winner in Italy with Sampdoria and Juventus, Attilio Lombardo make the shock move to Crystal Palace in 1997. His initial good form was interrupted by injury, which led to a run of poor results and ultimately the end of Steve Coppell’s reign.

The Italian was “shocked” to find out that he was the chosen successor, remarking in his opening press conference that the decision to make him caretaker “felt like being run over by a lorry”.

Unsurprisingly, the bizarre management duo of Lombardo and striker Tomas Brolin, who acted as translator, failed to stave off relegation.

Read – How an Italian cult hero became the youngest Premier League manager

2. Fabian Hurzeler – 31 years and 110 days

Hurzeler is yet to take charge of a Premier League game, so we’re going from the date of his appointment, but in any case he will be the second youngest manager in the league’s 32-year history when he makes his Brighton debut later this year.

That alone is pause for thought. Not only is the German the youngest permanent head coach, but he’s also the first manager that wasn’t alive when the Premier League first kicked off. Millennials everywhere suddenly feel a lot older right about now.

Indeed, Hurzeler’s unremarkable playing career only ended in 2020, although at that point he was already four years into his transition into coaching as player-manager at FC Pipinsried.

He was named assistant manager at St Pauli four years ago before being handed the head coaching role in December 2022. Less than two years later he guided the Hamburg outfit to the Bundesliga, winning the second tier title.

1. Ryan Mason – 29 years and 312 days

The former Spurs academy graduate entered the realm of coaching much earlier than expected when his playing career was ended by a skull injury. The same went for his management career when he succeeded Jose Mourinho as caretaker boss at the age of 29 in 2021.

The first person to take charge of a club in his twenties, Ryan Mason became the youngest manager in Premier League history. He won his first game in charge of Tottenham against Southampton before losing the League Cup final to Man City just four days later.

He won four of his seven games in the hot seat before stepping aside for Nuno Espirito Santo. When the Portuguese was replaced by Antonio Conte, he was installed as first team coach.

Read – Tributes pour in for Kevin Campbell as Arsenal legend passes away

See Also – Five Premier League transfer targets in the Euros shop window

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