Alberto Garrido is the experienced coach Watford have brought in to complete Tom Cleverley’s coaching staff for the 2024/25 season.

The 48-year-old Spaniard joins - on what is understood to be a two-year deal - from Real Madrid, where he was most recently assisting the legendary Raul in overseeing the club’s second team, RM Castilla.

Garrido has held a number of positions at the Bernabeu club, usually within the youth and grassroots areas.

He is seen as something a developer of coaches – as well as assisting Raul he also worked with Zinedine Zidane when he was in charge of the Castilla side 10 years ago, and when another Madrid legend, Guti, was placed in charge of their youth team he expressly asked for Garrido to work alongside him.

The pair had first met when they were both members of Real Madrid’s Under-15 team in the early 1990s.

With Garrido by his side, Guti steered Madrid’s youth team to success in the Champions Cup and the Copa del Ray.

A professional player for nine years, Garrido was a defender for Rayo Vallecano before joining Madrid.

During his time at the Bernabeu, Garrido is credited in not only helping some of the club's very famous coaches develop, but also having played a key role in bringing through players such as Federico Valverde, Fran Garcia and Achraaf Hakimi.

A fluent English speaker, Garrido will not only be able to help Cleverley with coaching but he will also be a valuable vocal link to many of the squad.

“He’s a vastly experienced coach, who has worked with Zidane. He’s most recently been working with Raul at Real Madrid, as sort of coach mentor,” said Cleverley.

“We have a lot of Spanish speaking players and he brings that to our coaching staff.

“He coaches a style of football and identity that I like, and most importantly he comes from an environment of winners, which as I keep saying is really important.

“He ticks a lot of boxes for me personally, as a mentor, and for the club as a whole.”

Before the appointment of Garrido, Watford had been heavily linked with Warren Joyce.

The former Manchester United Reserves manager, who played for Bolton, Preston and Hull, is currently head coach of Nottingham Forest’s Under-21 side.

Cleverley knows Joyce personally, but said the rumours were well wide of the mark.

“The only conversations I had with Warren were normal everyday conversations, nothing about him coming to work here – not at all,” the Watford head coach commented.

“As I understand it he’s very happy at Forest. He’s doing a great job there and he’s a great guy, but we didn’t speak about a job here at all.”