Express & Star

Monchi: Unai Emery one of the world's very best

Villa transfer chief Monchi has hailed Unai Emery one of the world’s best coaches and revealed his presence was key to him joining the club.


Monchi claimed his initial plan this summer was to take a break from football after leaving Sevilla before receiving the call from Emery and Villa.

The pair previously worked together at the Spanish club and Monchi, in his first club interview, explained: “Obviously, the presence of Unai has been almost the decisive reason to come to Birmingham.

“He is currently one of the top-level coaches in the world of football, with an infinite capacity to work and an eagerness to continue growing.

“The present and future project offered by Aston Villa was key in my decision.

“My initial idea was to rest for a while after finishing my time with Sevilla but when the possibility of Aston Villa arose, I didn’t hesitate for a moment.”

Monchi, who joined Villa at the start of July, took charge of a transfer window which saw the club break their transfer record with the £43million signing of Moussa Diaby.

Pau Torres, Youri Tielemans, Nicolo Zaniolo and Clement Lenglet were also recruited, while departures saw Villa sell academy products Cameron Archer, Aaron Ramsey and Jaden Philogene in deals which contain buy-back clauses.

Monchi believes the club have “covered their backs” with those transfer deals, admitting they have also helped ease the long-term position with regard to Financial Fair Play.

He said: “It has been a very complicated and hard-working summer, but I think we should be satisfied with what we have done, as we have kept all the important players plus the arrival of the five.

“The sales have basically been to balance our FFP, but in most cases we have repurchase options, so I think we have covered our backs. I am happy with the work we have done.

“I think all of the (signings) have something important and necessary to offer at this time, they have needed little adaptation to be able to give their best performances.

“They are all international players and I think that, together with those who were already in the squad, they will provide options for the coach.”