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Radhi Jaidi: Esperance unveils former Southampton star as manager

The Tunisian football boss has been appointed manager of the giant Stade Olympique de Rades

Esperance have announced the appointment of former Southampton and Bolton Wanderers star Radhi Jaidhi as their new coach.

The Blood and Gold broke up with coach Mouine Chaabani after his team collapsed from Al Ahly in the semi-finals of the Caf Champions League 2020-21.

In their attempt to return, the Ligue Professionnelle 1 team turned to their former player, assistant manager of the Belgian elite division Cercle Brugge.

Jaidhi was announced to the media on Monday during a press conference held at the Hotel du Parc.

Although Esperance has regained Tunisia’s top flight service over the past five seasons, they would greatly enjoy the country’s football to lead them to continental success.

They won the Caf Champions League in 2019 when they silenced Wydad Casablanca over two legs to win the Afrikaans club competition for the fourth time in their history.

Jaidi (45) recently received his Uefa Pro license which is necessary for anyone who wants to run a football club at the highest level of the European league system permanently.

After representing the former defender for Bolton Wanderers and Birmingham City, he signed at Southampton, where he represented them between 2009 and 2012 before taking on a managerial role in the S23’s U23s five years later.

He transferred to the United Soccer League, where he was named Hartford Athletic’s head coach in November 2019.

In February 2021 he is appointed as an assistant coach at the Belgian first division A team Cercle Brugge.

In his first season, he helped the Greens and Blacks retain their Belgian First Division A status after finishing 16th in the 18-team league.

Despite his appointment as the boss of Esperance, his ultimate ambition is to become the first driver in Tunisia and the first time in Africa in the English top flight.

“I see so many people from former Bolton, Southampton and Birmingham fans, still think I’m still playing!” Jaidi tells Hampshire Live.

“I’m so committed to my coaching that I’m not communicating outside enough to let people know I’m a coach now.

‘I was the first Tunisian to play in the Premier League and the first Tunisian to win a trophy as coach in England.

‘I am very hungry to achieve more, I want to be one of the first Tunisians to take on a senior team at the highest level as head coach.

‘The dream is the Premier League, but there are so many challenges, challenges like unconscious prejudice and there is so much competition.

“I still believe in my ability as a coach, and I have shown so many strong performances since I was a coach at Southampton.”

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