Watford have appointed Valerien Ismael as their new head coach.

The 47-year-old former Barnsley, West Brom and Besiktas boss takes over from Chris Wilder, whose contract ended after Monday’s win over Stoke City.

Watford's Technical Director Ben Manga said: “Being able to appoint a new coach so soon in May means we can prepare very well together for next season.

“To be able to welcome someone of Valérien’s experience to Watford is good news for our club. We are all looking forward to working with him.”

Ismael first came to attention in the UK when he took over at Barnsley in Autumn 2020, and led them to play-offs where they were beaten 2-1 on aggregate by Swansea City in the semi-finals.

In the summer of 2021 he left Oakwell to take over at relegated West Brom. However, he left the club by mutual consent the following February after the Baggies went through a run of one win in seven league games.

His most recent job was at Turkish side Besiktas, whom he joined in March last year but left after 18 games in charge.

As a player Ismael enjoyed success in Germany and France, winning the German double in his first season at Werder Bremen where he also played in the Champions League.

He then moved to Bayern Munich and again was part of a team that completed the double.

His career began in France with Strasbourg and Lens, and he won both the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue twice.

Ismale also had a brief spell as a player with Crystal Palace in 1998, the Eagles paying what was then a club record £2.75m to sign him from Strasbourg.

However, he only made 15 appearances while at Selhurst Park before returning to France and joining Lens.

The centre-back retired from playing in 2009 and had stints as manager of Hannover, Wolfsburg and Nurnberg before taking charge of Apollon Smyrnis in Greece and Austrian side LASK.

Capped by France from Under-17 to Under-21 level, Ismael has yet to be in charge of any club he's managed for more than 50 games, which he achieved while at LASK.

He now becomes Watford's eight head coach/manager since August 2020, and none of his predecessors have got close to 50 games - Xisco Munoz managed 36 games in charge from December 2020 to october 2021.

The last Watford head coach to be in charge for more than 365 days was the recently-sacked Leeds manager Javi Gracia, who was at Vicarage Road for 594 days.