“My dream is to win a trophy with Aston Villa, it is my first challenge; and secondly, I would also like to play European football”. These were the objectives set by Unai Emery during his presentation as the manager of Aston Villa back in the fourth of November.
The Hondarribian coach showed great ambition (perhaps too much). At the time of his arrival, the ‘Villans’ ranked sixteenth with twelve points. Six months later, in the last date of the Premier League, Emery and Aston Villa secured their qualification to the Conference League after defeating Brighton in a 2-1 win at Villa Park.
An extraordinary record achieved by the Basque manager (15 wins in 25 Premier League games) has created an atmosphere os excitement among the fans, who will watch the team they support play European football after a 13-year wait. But it is clear that, to be able to play in four competitions, the team must get deeper. And who better to do it than Monchi, who has worked with Emery in the past.
At the end of the season, Aston Villa announced the arrival of Ramon Rodríguez Verdejo, better known as Monchi. The ‘Lion’ of San Fernando was appointed President of Football Operations and seemed “really excited” to join the ‘Villans’ and “delighted” to work alongside Unai Emery once again.
In their stint together at Sevilla, the duo managed to win three consecutive Europa League titles. In Villa Park, they hope to do as well as in the Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium.
Tielemans and Pau Torres to reach the Champions League:
It is clear that Unai Emery is not a conformist and, alongside Monchi, he wants to build a team capable of competing for European football spots. To do that, the front office of the seven-time English champion and winner of the 1982 Champions League has started to work on putting together a winning squad and fulfill the dream of the former Villarreal coach.
The first acquisition has been Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans. Part of Belgium’s national team, the 26-year-old arrived as a free agent after his contract with Leicester City expired. He joins Douglas Luiz and John McGinn as part of the team’s engine. Tielemans stands out for his great qualities with the ball, especially passing and shooting.
Tielemans, who was tempted by big clubs around Europe for many seasons, stated that Emery’s ambition, passion and management impressed him enough to choose Aston Villa. A quality addition to raise the squad’s level.
The second signing of the offseason was yet another acquaintance of Unai Emery. Villarreal’s Pau Torres became a part of Aston Villa earlier this week in exchange for 33 million euros and five in add-ons. The center-back, who played for the ‘groguet’ club for 20 years, was a specific request from Emery to strengthen their defense.
The Spaniard’s arrival brings many alternatives to the Birmingham squad. Torres joins Mings, Konsa and Diego Carlos in a really solid line of defense for the upcoming campaign in the Premier League.
These two statement signings, along with the ones that could still come, show that Aston Villa should be taken seriously. Only time will tell if Unai Emery’s dream of helping Aston Villa reach glory (lifting their first trophy since the 1996 EFL Cup) will come true.
Translated by Nuño Alonso.
Main image: @AVFCOfficial.