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Swansea City players did a double-take when Claude Makelele arrived at training, says Paul Clement

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 13, 2017

New Swansea City coach Claude Makelele.

New Swansea City coach Claude Makelele.

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PAUL Clement admitted the call that led to Claude Makelele joining Swansea City came out of the blue, but is backing the Chelsea great to make a big impact at the Liberty Stadium.

Makelele, 43, was unveiled as Clement's assistant coach earlier this week to become the third addition to the coaching staff under the new head coach.

The shock move was completed just two days after Clement took a phone call from the man he worked with at Chelsea and PSG, in which Makelele offered his services.

It was as much of a surprise to Clement as anyone else, as the 45-year-old believed the Frenchman was still working for Monaco.

READ MORE: New Swansea City coach Claude Makelele so keen to work with Paul Clement he rang to ask him

But, once he became aware of his former colleague's availability, he wasted no time in bringing him to South Wales.

"It took me by surprise, I actually thought he was still the technical director at Monaco," admitted Clement.

"He said he had left there, he was doing some work for UEFA. So it was a surprise and when he offered his services it was perfect. It was an opportunistic appointment.

"From that call it took us just two days to get him here."

Given Swansea's current position in the Premier League relegation zone, more than a few fans have suggested Clement should be asking his new assistant to lace his boots up again to marshal the midfield against Arsenal tomorrow.

Makelele's influence as a defensive midfielder with Chelsea completely changed the way the position was viewed, and it came to be dubbed as the 'Makelele Role'.

He won two La Liga titles and the Champions League with Real Madrid, plus two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and League Cup with Chelsea.

And Clement hopes Makelele's impressive CV and ability to connect with players can make an immediate difference to confidence and belief among the Swans' squad.

"I've thought about it (playing him)," Clement joked when told of some supporters wanting Makelele to get out on the field on Saturday afternoon.

READ MORE: New signing Luciano Narsingh has full faith in Swansea City being in Premier League next season

"The aim is for him to make a short-term impact. You could see some of the players and staff when he arrived at the training ground, they did a double-take.

"They looked at him, looked away and had to look back to make sure they were seeing right and it was really him.

"He will bring a lot of presence, a lot of charisma and a lot of knowledge.

"He has a really good feeling for the dressing room and players after being at such a high level for so long. He will help give us a nice blend of characteristics as a staff.

"I am happy with the staff I have, on the field there is myself, Nigel Gibbs, Karl Halabi, Claude and Tony Roberts delivering the work on the pitch."

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