A whole host of incomings came to the London Stadium this summer, and not many with more importance than Mario Husillos, West Ham United’s new director of football.
Husillos was a professional footballer himself turning out for the likes of Boca Juniors, San Lorenzo, CD Malaga, Tenerife, Cadiz and Malaga across Spain and Argentina, but it was in a role off the pitch that he made his name.
After managing Almagro and Real Murcia, Husillos became director of football at Malaga for the three years Manuel Pellegrini spent there also. One of Husillos’ key requirements was recruiting, and recruiting coherently to Malaga’s transfer budget. He did so fantastically as Malaga brought in the likes of Santi Cazorla, Jeremy Toulalan, Nacho Monreal, Isco, Salomon Rondon who within three years all moved on to pastures new with a significantly larger transfer fee in comparison to what they arrived for.
Husillos also helped bring in lesser-known talents at the time to shape the side for the now. Names such as Martin Demichelis, Eliseu, Ignacio Camacho and Willy Cabellero who had no intentions of moving on in a hurry which assisted in Malaga’s quest to for glory. The Malagauistas came very close in 2011/12, which was their first time amongst the European royalty in this competition. Husillos’ additions were critical in Malaga reaching the Quarter-Finals, where they were robbed by two goals in extra time against Borrusia Dortmund to crash out in the last eight.
He now takes on a new challenge in East London, overseeing everything that goes on at West Ham from the academy, to the senior side, to recruitment and much more. Husillos has spent heavily on new players bringing in a mix of players proven in the Premier League; Lucasz Fabianksi; and Jack Wilshere, to some foreign talent across Europe’s top five leagues such as Felipe Anderson, Issa Diop, Andriy Yarmelenko, Carlos Sanchez and Fabian Balbuena. It will take time for the vast majority of new faces to adjust to the Premier League, and when they do they will be sure to lift the Irons off the bottom of the table and prove Husillos’ judgement to be correct.