Julen Lopetegui and Monchi both had something to prove when they arrived at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last summer. The former had, after all, suffered a torturous time at Real Madrid the season before, which came just a few months after his sacking as Spain national team manager on the eve of the 2018 World Cup.
Monchi’s reputation had also taken a hit at Roma. Credited with turning Sevilla into a European force, the sporting director took on a new challenge at the Stadio Olimpico. However, after enjoying some initial success in Italy, with Roma making a run to the semi finals of the Champions League, Monchi struggled to make his mark.
The 51-year-old looks comfortable again in the surroundings of the Ramon Sanchez Pzjuan, though. Monchi set about pointing Sevilla in the right direction again upon his return to the club last summer and his efforts bore fruit almost immediately, with the Andalusians enjoying a successful 2019/20 campaign.
Lopetegui also deserves a lot of credit for how Sevilla finished in La Liga’s top four, qualifying for next season’s Champions League. The former Real Madrid and Spain boss has proved himself as a coach by turning Sevilla into one of the most dynamic, exhilarating teams in the country. They were well worth their fourth place finish.
Lucas Ocampos enjoyed an exceptional season, with Diego Carlos growing into one of the best centre backs in the league. Ever Banega was more influential than ever before, while Sergio Reguilon underlined his potential as one of the best full backs in the Spanish game at the moment on loan from Real Madrid for the season.
There are still areas where Lopetegui could do with improving. Up front, most notably, Sevilla struggled to find a regular goalscorer to lead the line. Ocampos finished the season as the club’s top scorer with 14. Behind him, Luuk de Jong was their second top scorer with just six goals for the 2019/20 camapign.
Monchi failed to find a centre forward to effectively replace Wissam Ben Yedder last summer. This was one of the few things which held Sevilla back from achieving even more. Finding a true goalscorer will surely be high on the sporting director’s list of priorities this summer and if he can do that Sevilla will stand a strong chance of taking the next step in their development next season.
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