Experienced Belgian tactician Georges Leekens has been tasked with the head coaching role at the Algerian national team, following the sacking of Milovan Rajevac.
The Serbian former Ghana coach was fired from the Fennec Foxes after a disappointing home draw against Cameroon in 2018 World Cup qualifying earlier this month.
The Algerians have moved to find an adequate replacement in a hurry, with further World Cup qualifiers on the horizon and the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations beginning on January 14.
Leekens brings international experience to the role, having previously coached the Tunisian and Belgian national teams – the latter on two separate occasions, while he also spent a short six-month stint with the Algerians in 2003 before resigning for what he described as ‘family reasons’.
He has also been in charge of numerous clubs sides including Anderlecht, Club Brugge, Gent and Lokeren, the club from which he was fired this week before accepting the Algeria position.
Leekens will now need to prepare the Fennec Foxes for a crucial away Russia 2018 qualifier against the Super Eagles of Nigeria on November 12, before turning his attention to the continental showpiece event early next year.
Gabon 2017 will be the 67-year-old’s second AFCON competition, having taken Tunisia to the previous edition in 2015.
The North Africans will be hoping that he can guide them through World Cup qualifying while aiming for their first Nations Cup title since 1990.
The Algerians have an incredibly strong side, with exceptional attacking individuals such as Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani to rely on up front. They will be a handful for any side in Gabon, and if Leekens is able to keep the side motivated and cohesive ahead of the tournament, they will be able to emerge from the 2017 AFCON as the new title holders.