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Former Villarreal boss set to return to management with Segunda Division job

Calleja could be on his way back to the Valencia region

Villarreal CF v Deportivo Alaves - La Liga Santander
Calleja during his time at Alaves
Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Javier Calleja looks like he may be landing on his feet at Levante as he is reportedly their choice for manager after the sacking of Mehdi Nafti.

I cannot help but feel like Calleja is one of our own, and the circumstances under which he left Villarreal were very unfortunate, so I continue to take an interest in the man who not only appeared 124 times for the Villarreal first team but also managed at both the youth and first team levels for the club.

His last stint ended with a heroic run to European places after the resumption of the pandemic halted season in 2020, which set the stage for Villarreal’s march to the 2021 Europa League trophy.

Calleja was sacked from Villarreal after that run and we later found out that the club had already decided to hire Unai Emery before the season even resumed.

Calleja then joined Alaves in early 2021 with them last in the table. He saved them from relegation that season before the cumulative effects of years at the bottom put them in another relegation battle last season lead to his departure.

Calleja, for as frustrating as he often was during his time at Villarreal, is a good manager.

He would be taking over a Levante side that hoped to regain their Primera place this season from Segunda but instead sit in 14th place, three points behind Villarreal B.

Should this appointment become official, I wish him nothing but the best. He deserves to be managing in the Spanish top flight.

Though, with the right contract, of course, and Calleja has reportedly rejected Levante’s first offer.

Time for Las Granotas to put their money where their mouth is, with the board reportedly all in favour of the appointment.