Stoke City have formally announced the appointment of Gary Rowett as their new manager on a three-year contract.
The Potters have been on the hunt for a new boss since dispensing with the services of Paul Lambert last week, following their relegation from the Premier League. Despite being linked with former West Ham manager David Moyes, Stoke have moved quickly to appoint Rowett following his impressive season with Derby.
The 44-year-old guided the Rams to the Championship play-offs, before sliding to a narrow 2-1 aggregate defeat to highly fancied Fulham. Their impressive campaign has clearly done enough to the impress the Stoke hierarchy though, with chairman Peter Coates keen for the club to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Rowett began his managerial career with Burton Albion, leading the club to successive League One play-off campaigns, before moving on to Birmingham. He impressed at St Andrew’s also, but was surprisingly sacked by the club’s board despite the Blues lying 5th in the Championship table.
He subsequently joined Derby, a club where he made 105 league appearances as a player, in March 2017, replacing Steve McClaren. His first full season in charge has seen Rowett challenging towards the top end of the table once more, prompting Stoke to pursue him as their top target.
With reported financial constraints and potential sales of keys assets understood to be a factor in Rowett’s decision to leave Pride Park, he can now look forward to the challenge of helping Stoke climb back into the Premier League.
He will expect to lose a number of key players this summer though, with the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Jack Butland and Joe Allen sure to be keen on engineering moves away from the bet365 stadium.