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Tuesday 25 July 2017

Claude Makelele joins 'mentor' Paul Clement in the Swansea dugout

Former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele has joined Swansea's coaching staff
Former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele has joined Swansea's coaching staff

Claude Makelele plans to use his Premier League experience and keep Swansea in the top flight after joining his "mentor" Paul Clement at the Liberty Stadium.

Makelele has signed a deal as Swansea assistant coach until the end of the season, with the former France midfielder revealing it was his decision to contact Clement after his former Chelsea colleague had landed his job in south Wales.

The 43-year-old joins fellow new recruits Nigel Gibbs and Karl Halabi, both from Tottenham, on Clement's back room staff ahead of the Premier League home game against Arsenal on Saturday.

"I am really excited to be here and I am happy to start working at Swansea," Makelele said.

"Paul is my mentor. He has taught me a lot of things in my time working with him.

"When I heard he was back working in the Premier League, I phoned him and asked if I could help him at Swansea.

"Paul has given me the opportunity to come back to the Premier League, and I'm very grateful because I've really missed it.

"I know him very well and he knows me too. I think I have a lot to give, and hopefully I can help Paul and Swansea."

Makelele played 71 times for France and won 15 trophies during a glittering 20-year career at Nantes, Marseille, Celta Vigo, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Paris St Germain.

It was in his five years at Chelsea from 2003 to 2008, where he helped the Blues win two Premier League titles, two League Cups and the FA Cup, that Makelele first met Clement.

Reading-born Clement was working his way through the coaching ranks at Stamford Bridge and later succeeded Makelele as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at PSG.

Clement also worked as Ancelotti's number two at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich before becoming Swansea's head coach at the start of January.

Makelele's own spell in management lasted just 13 games at French Ligue 1 club Bastia before he was sacked in November 2014.

He later had a technical director role at Monaco, but he feels his experience of English football - he played more than 200 games for Chelsea - will help a Swansea side stuck in the relegation zone.

"The aim is to keep Swansea in the Premier League, and I will do my best to help make the players happy and raise their performances," Makelele told the official club website.

"My role is a general one. Whichever way I can help the players then I will do it.

"Swansea have a lot of quality. I know, given my time as a footballer, that your confidence can drop, and hopefully I can help raise their confidence.

"Swansea have done very well in the Premier League - they have been there a long time now - and we want to stay in the league.

"English football and the Premier League gave me a lot. I was amazed with the contact, the spirit, the atmosphere - I loved it.

"I've experienced it as a player, now I can do it as a coach with Swansea."

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