What’s next for Bruno Lage?

Bruno Lage announced himself as one of the brightest up-and-coming managers in world football after taking over as Benfica head coach in January 2019. Since then, he’s managed Wolves in the Premier League and Brazilian outfit Botofogo, but what’s next for the Portuguese native?

Lage, 48, started his coaching career with Benfica, where he worked across the younger age groups for around six years. During that time, he led the Benfica U15s, U17s and U19s before moving on to Dubai’s Al-Ahli to lead their academy system. It was at Al-Ahli that Lage met Carlos Carvalhal, who he followed to Sheffield Wednesday and then Swansea as an assistant coach before striking out on his own back at Benfica as manager of their B team.

Lage’s stint as Benfica B manager, while impressive, with a points per game average of 2.08, was short-lived, as he was made caretaker manager of Benfica after Rui Vitoria’s departure before assuming the role full time. Lage guided Benfica to the title, which was some feat as most online betting sites didn’t fancy their chances due to their form under Vitoria before he was fired.

Lage’s time at Benfica ended in disappointment, but Wolves saw enough in him to hire him as Nuno Espirito Santo’s replacement, and his impact, especially on the style of play, was immediately noticeable. Wolves were playing some of the best football they’d played in a long while, but they lacked a goalscorer, and this proved costly the following season when Lage’s contract was terminated after a poor run of results.

The Portuguese head coach was subsequently linked with various roles around the world following his time at Molineux but ended up in Brazil at the then league leaders Botofogo. After a record unbeaten run was recorded, four defeats followed, and with Botofogo’s grip on their good position slipping, Lage was fired after fifteen games in charge.

So, what next for Lage, who is still a young head coach in many respects and also a league title winner? He’s still represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes and his company Gestifute, which is certainly beneficial for looking for a new job in the game. And while things didn’t end in the greatest way at Wolves, the football they played and wins over the likes of Manchester United, for the first time in forty years, and Spurs were highlights that cannot be forgotten.

You’d expect Lage, based on all this, to be still courted by some top-level teams around the world. He may have to re-establish himself by doing good work as he did previously at Benfica before he gets another shot in the Premier League, for example, especially after his recent spell with Botofogo. But you wouldn’t bet against him doing so if the right project came along. In football, you’re most remembered for your most recent work, which is why Lage's next step is crucial in getting back into the big time, which, as he’s mentioned himself, is the Premier League.