Doubts around Thomas Christiansen’s suitability for the Leeds United top job have been allayed by former Whites defender David Prutton, who says unknown managers have succeeded in the past.

The Spaniard was appointed to the Elland Road post last week, succeeding Garry Monk, who resigned two days after chairman Andrea Radrizzani completed his takeover in late May.

A number of high-profile candidates either ruled themselves out of the running or took other jobs before Christiansen was named as the new manager.

Prutton compared the move to Sheffield Wednesday appointing Carlos Carvalhal two years ago.


“When the news broke about his appointment I had to look him up,” Prutton admitted in his weekly column for The Yorkshire Evening Post.

“I’m not being disrespectful but he’s someone I haven’t followed and I can’t pretend to know a huge amount about him.

“Then again, we all said the same when Carlos Carvalhal came to Sheffield Wednesday two years ago.”

The Portuguese manager was unheralded – and had been out of management for three years – when he arrived at Hillsborough but has since guided his side to two top-six finishes.

“It was very much the same reaction,” Prutton recalled.

“Wednesday have been in the play-offs twice since then and he’s staying on for a third season but I remember well the general bemusement when Wednesday appointed him.

“You had the constant question of ‘Carlos who?’ and the quiet suspicion that it might be a mistake.”

Unlike Carvalhal, Christiansen comes into the Leeds job fresh from winning the Cypriot First Division with APOEL Nicosia – leaving the club on the same day that Monk bid farewell to Elland Road.

But he faces a similar challenge, and needs backing from the boardroom to be able to take the club in the direction he wants.

“Wednesday have backed Carvalhal to an incredible extent financially,” Prutton added.

“That’s strengthened his hand and given him a proper chance to avoid become another unflattering statistic.

“He was clever when he came in. Wednesday used to have a transfer committee of sorts but he edged himself into a position of power by winning the trust of the money men and he’s been able to make some very big signings.

“He’s got a certain level of authority at Hillsborough and the respect for him, I feel, was shown by Wednesday deciding to keep him on again when many thought the club might consider a change.”