Sheffield United: How Slavisa Jokanovic personally selected the three new additions to his backroom staff

Slavisa Jokanovic personally selected the three members of staff who were appointed to his backroom team yesterday, as the Serb’s regime at Bramall Lane continues to take shape.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 3:33 pm

As The Star revealed last month, Rafael Cristobal becomes Sheffield United’s new head of first team performance having previously worked with Jokanovic at Fulham. The Spaniard has also held similar roles with Las Palmas, Real Valladolid, Levante and Alaves.

Cristobal has been joined at United’s training camp in Spain by Chema Sanz, the new first team coach, and Italian Marco Cesarini who takes responsibility for the senior squad’s medical services department.

Sources at United have confirmed that Jokanovic, who will make his first appearance as their manager during this weekend’s friendly against Europa Point of Gibraltar, insisted upon their appointments before agreeing to take charge of the Championship club in May.

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Despite their delay in their arrival - five days after the former Yugoslavia and Chelsea midfielder was officially unveiled - it is a measure of Jokanovic’s trust in their expertise that he sought permission to make them offers before accepting the invitation to succeed Chris Wilder.

Sanz, aged 51, could enjoy a particularly wide-ranging brief having served as both head coach of Valencia’s B team and technical director at the Mestalla before leaving the six-time La Liga champions.

Cesarini, who has worked for Milan, West Ham and Brescia in the past, recently enjoyed a spell in China with Henan Songshan. Like Cristobal, he was a member of Jokanovic’s support staff at Craven Cottage having first met him at Watford.

Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images
Sheffield United manager Slavisa Jokanovic: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images