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Thursday August 15 2019
Monchi has much to prove upon Sevilla return

After a disappointing stint at Roma, sporting director Monchi has returned to Sevilla this summer and Kaustubh Pandey argues he has much work to do.

Many fingers were pointed at Monchi when his Roma failed to make the top four in the Serie A last season. The wishy-washy recruitment from the sporting director was seen as a big factor, as the signings made by the Spaniard underperformed and never lived up to whatever he saw in them. Goalkeeper Robin Olsen became one of the worst signings Monchi has ever made.

But coming back ‘home’ to Sevilla isn’t just a shot at redemption for Monchi. It is a chance to prove that he is not bad as how the troubled Roma stint has made him look. It has been a little over two months since Monchi came back to Andalusia, but Sevilla have already signed 11 players this summer in an attempt to get ready for a return to the Europa League. Monchi and the competition is a love-story that has become famed and it is no coincidence that he is again out to build a squad that can help his hometown side win the title after three long years.

Sevilla have lost Wissam Ben Yedder, who has joined Monaco in a €40m deal. Luis Muriel has joined Atalanta after a very good spell with Fiorentina and his loss is felt by any side that he leaves. Monchi then decided to go head-hunting in the Netherlands to sign one of the most consistent and reliable strikers in that country - Luuk de Jong. The 28-year-old is not as mobile a forward as Muriel but he does bring something fresh to the plate. More like a combination of what Andre Silva - who has returned to Milan - provided and what Muriel offers. And for a of around €13m, De Jong brings reliability and an assurance of goals. He scored 33 times in all competitions for PSV in just 41 games.

What was more concerning than the departure of Muriel was the sale of Pablo Sarabia to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of €18m as the Parisians triggered the Spaniard’s release clause. Quincy Promes, who was disappointing for the club since his arrival, left for a similar fee and Gabriel Mercado joined Al Rayyal in Qatar.

Losing multiple key players can be worrying for any team in the world, but instead of falling away, Monchi helped the side improve. Jules Kounde’s capture certainly stands out. The defender was one of the most highly rated defenders in France and is expected to have a bright future ahead. The fee of €25m shelled out is something that will only increase in the next few months as Kounde will certainly be part of Julen Lopetegui’s first-team plans.

Diego Carlos, who has joined from Nantes, is expected to replace Mercado right away and with Sevilla playing in the Europa League, him and Kounde will add much needed depth in a side that will need it to go a long way in Europe.

In the duo of Oliver Torres and Lucas Ocampos, Los Hispalenses have players who are ready to take their careers to the next level. While Ocampos had a fruitful spell at Marseille over the last two years, Torres comes to the club after having his career hindered by inconsistency. But Monchi has granted them the first-team places that each need to reach the next level.

Munas Dabbur will surely add impetus when it comes to scoring goals. The Israeli was involved in 53 goals in 48 games in all competitions at RB Salzburg and a fee of €15m is very good business for any club. Fernando- the former Manchester City player - and Joan Jordan add venom to a midfield with Maxime Gonalons, Marko Rog and Ibrahim Amadou having left. Having a player like Ever Banega is an added bonus as he is technically sound.

The foundation is there for the Andalusians to soon take this side to another level and Monchi has played a key role in laying that foundation down. His relationship with Lopetegui is better than how his relations were with Eusebio di Francesco at Roma and that will go a long way in deciding where they will go next season. That side has a lot to gain in European football.

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