The return of sporting director Monchi should bring with it some much needed stability and assuredness to the Andalusian club. The former goalkeeper has rejoined the club after two years at Roma and whilst it may not show in terms of short-term results, he has been missed.
Monchi spent 17 years in the position and oversaw promotion in his first season heading the sporting department, before top half finishes in the Spanish top flight in each subsequent campaign. Furthermore, the club won a remarkable five Europa League titles and two Copa del Reys in that run.
As things stand, Sevilla are one place and one point off the Champions League qualification places. Last season they reached the quarter-finals of Europe’s premier club competition for the first time in six decades and they also went to the Copa final. Yet to suggest this was achieved because of Monchi’s departure would be incorrect – the relative success was in spite of his absence.
Last season, Los Rojiblancos had comfortably the fourth highest wage budget in the division yet finished seventh. There was instability both on and off the pitch. Eduardo Berizzo was gone before Christmas and Vincenzo Montella was dismissed before the end of the campaign, replaced by Joaquin Caparros. Pablo Machin was then instilled as permanent boss but his sacking last month once more heralded the return of Caparros. In between times, Caparros had held the Director of Football position having replaced Oscar Arias – the initial Monchi successor – who was in his role for less than a year.
Sevilla have spent big in order to be ‘the best of the rest’ in the division. They are unlikely to challenge Barcelona, Atletico de Madrid or Real Madrid in the standings but they believe they should be in the running for a top four spot. Only Valencia can lay claim to a similar level of spending and ambition but at present, it is minnows Getafe who hold that coveted fourth position.
The firepower at Sevilla is evident – Wissam Ben Yedder has netted 28 goals this season but at times he has appeared to be carrying the team. Andre Silva has struggled after a bright start following his loan move from Milan.
There are reports that the club will seek to appoint former France boss Laurent Blanc this summer but cannot commit financially until their league finish this campaign is finalised. Monchi is set to have his work cut out once more, but his ability for selecting the right players and coaching staff for the club should lead to Sevilla once more establishing themselves as the nation’s fourth best club side.
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