Watford have confirmed the appointment of in-demand former Hull City manager Marco Silva as their new head coach. The highly-regarded Portuguese has put pen to paper on a two-year contract at Vicarage Road and will succeed Italian Walter Mazzarri, whose lacklustre one-year reign came to an end following the climax of the 2016-17 Premier League season.
Despite failing in his quest to save Hull from making an instant return to the Championship, former Estoril, Sporting Lisbon and Olympiacos boss Silva received widespread praise during his four-and-a-half month stint on Humberside.
The 39-year-old had also been linked with the managerial post vacated by Sam Allardyce at Crystal Palace after confirmation on Thursday (25 May) that he, head coach Joao Pedro Sousa, first team coach Goncalo Pedro and goalkeeping coach Hugo Oliveira would all be leaving Hull in order to further their respective careers.
The Tigers claimed to be disappointed by the decision, but nevertheless praised Silva as a "firm fans' favourite" who will be "forever remembered for his efforts to maintain our Premier League status".
Commenting on Silva's appointment, Watford CEO Scott Duxbury said: "Marco was one of the most sought after head coaches in the Premier League. His pedigree and promise speaks for itself with his achievements in top divisions elsewhere across Europe, as well as his work at Hull City last season.
"We are delighted to have secured his services and to be welcoming a head coach of his profile and potential. It's an exciting time to be a Watford fan, and I'm sure all supporters will join me in offering Marco and his family the warmest of welcomes to Vicarage Road."
Silva, who was mentioned in connection with both Southampton and FC Porto, becomes Watford's ninth manager in just five years. Duxbury recently claimed that they offer no apologies for aiming to achieve more than just top-flight survival and their new boss appears to have been attracted by that sense of ambition.
"Firstly I really like the approach of the board and the owner," he said. "They showed me the project and I like the ambition. The club want to improve for the next seasons and this is what I try to fight for in my career as well – to always improve, to do a good job and to ensure a good connection between the manager and the club.
"The ambition this club has is really important to me. I'm excited. It's a good challenge and I'm really happy."
The Hornets finished 17th this season following a final-day drubbing by Manchester City, six points above relegated Hull. Silva also signalled an intention to introduce an exciting style of play.