Manchester City have lost under-23 head coach Enzo Maresca to Italian Serie B side Parma, just days after Pep Guardiola predicted he would have a bright future in management.
Maresca took over at City at the start of the season, replacing Paul Harsley. He led an U23 side including the likes of Tommy Doyle, Liam Delap and Cole Palmer to their first ever Premier League 2 title, as well as guiding an under-21 side to the knockout stages of the Papa John’s Trophy against EFL opposition.
Only last week, Pep Guardiola praised the work Maresca had done with the Elite Development Squad, saying: “We are delighted with what Maresca has done. He’ll be an extraordinary manager in the future – like I felt it with Arteta. He’s developed many young players that will help us.”
Guardiola might have known something he didn’t say when making those remarks, or he might not have predicted that Maresca’s move into senior management would come so soon.
Unveiling Maresca as their new head coach, Parma said: “As a player Enzo played in Serie A and B, in the Spanish La Liga, the Greek Super League, and the English Championship, winning a Scudetto, two UEFA Cups, a European Super Cup, an Italian Super Cup, a Spanish Cup, a Spanish Super Cup and a Serie B championship.
“After leaving football, he began his career in the dugout, holding the role of assistant coach at Ascoli and West Ham, and as a technical assistant at Sevilla, before becoming the head coach of Manchester City U23. During this last experience, he won the Premier League 2.
“President Kyle Krause and all at Parma Calcio would like to wish Enzo the best wishes for his new experience.”
Parma were relegated from Serie A this season, finishing bottom, and will play in the second division next season.
Commenting on Maresca’s departure, Academy Director Jason Wilcox said: “Enzo has made a strong contribution in his time at the Club. Our Premier League 2 title success was a great achievement and he deserves credit for the role he played.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Enzo for all efforts in his time at the Club and wish him well for his future career.”
Academy players Tommy Doyle and James McAtee recently told MEN Sport how Maresca’s drive and innovative coaching methods were a key reason behind their title win this season.