By Anthony Onifade

22nd Jul, 2023 | 11:40am

Monchi leads Aston Villa to new heights in transfer market as Unai Emery now handed tools to cause Premier League stir

Aston Villa have emerged as real trailblazers in the market already this summer, completing the signings of Youri Tielemans and Pau Torres and new President of Football Monchi is certainly aiding Unai Emery’s quest to cause a real splash in the Premier League next season.

The Villans announced the appointment of Ramón Rodriguez Verdejo ‘Monchi’ as the Club’s new President of Football Operations on 16 June, following the exit of CEO Christian Purslow.

The 54-year-old Spaniard worked alongside Villa manager Unai Emery at Sevilla, helping the La Liga club win three Europa League titles together, whilst Monchi has won seven in total.

The revival of his partnership with Emery follows Aston Villa’s qualification for next season’s Europa Conference League following their seventh-place finish in the Premier League.

Monchi has picked up an impressive reputation and successful acumen in his recruitment policy, especially at Sevilla, bringing through the likes of Jose Antonio Reyes, Jesus Navas and Sergio Ramos, whilst also brokering some stunning transfer dealings that pointed to a successful tenure at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.

And after several doubts about his ability to continue such an approach in these latter years of his career, the Spanish transfer genius is wiping away all those uncertainties, now ushering in a new era at Villa Park following the business the club have already completed.

The Villans have been in desperate need of a rebuild this summer, following the lofty heights Emery took them to last season, finishing in a Europa Conference League place after winning 15 of his 25 matches in charge following his appointment in November, despite possessing a depleted attacking weaponry.

In order for Aston Villa to take the next step for the 23/24 campaign, the club needed to show their ambition in the transfer market, filling in gaps in Emery’s squad with the necessary quality required to fire on all cylinders and that has been impressively shown following the signings of Tielemans and Torres.

Both players are indeed blessed with real quality and are amongst the best in their division for what they offer handing Emery the tools to go that one step further and potentially upset the Premier League ‘Top Six’ order.

A regular feature for Belgium on the international stage, picking up 60 caps since his debut in 2016, Tielemans has long been considered one of the most innovative and progressive midfielders in the Premier League.

According to FBRef, Tielemans sat in the 86th percentile for progressive passes made by midfielders last season, averaging 6.95 per 90 minutes. This equated to a total of 181 progressive passes across the season, which was 33 more than Douglas Luiz, who topped the charts for Villa.

The same increase in quality can be shown through Spanish international Torres, too.

Torres averaged 4.1 clearances, 1.7 aerial wins and 1.3 tackles per game last season in La Liga [WhoScored] proving a real rock at the heart of Villarreal’s defence, but he equally has an eye on making a positive impact driving forward from deep which Emery is trying to incorporate in the West Midlands.

The 26-year-old ranked in the 99th percentile for progressive carries and the 97th percentile for successful take-ons, showcasing his incredible class and qualities when playing out of the back, or even possessing the ability to evade high pressure from onrushing attackers.

Having been crowned winner of the Europa League in 2020/21, Torres will additionally know what it takes to compete and be successful on the bigger stage – which is what Aston Villa will be up against next season in the Europa Conference League – so he could help to create the winning mentality needed to gain results over European opponents.

But, also they’ll be looking to compete at the top end of the Premier League table, which Torres massively helped Villarreal to do numerous times in La Liga, especially last season as they finished fifth.

However, it’s in attack that is the real port of call for Emery to address with Villa desperately short on quality and over-reliant on the likes of Jacob Ramsey, Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins but given one recent development, Monchi has masterminded another trailblazing transfer.

According to The Athletic reporting on 20 July, the Villans have agreed a deal with Bayer Leverkusen to complete their third signing of the summer in Moussa Diaby who rejected a big-money approach from Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr [Fabrizio Romano, 20 July], signifying the kind of pull the Villans now possess in the market with Emery and Monchi leading the charge.

According to French outlet RMC Sport (20 July), Diaby should undergo his medical tests in the UK and sign the contract at Villa by the weekend in order to complete the deal worth around €40m (£34.6m) plus add-ons.

And the French speed wizard is a statement acquisition and just the attacking tonic Emery needs to significantly bolster his ranks at Villa Park.

Last term, the 24-year-old was in inspired form for Bayer Leverkusen, emerging as one of the best in his position in the league, registering 14 goals and 11 assists from 48 appearances across all competitions, and Diaby is also a master of putting opportunities on a plate for his team-mates and successfully performed 143 shot-creating actions in 2022/23, as per FBRef.

The Frenchman is one of Europe’s most productive attacking young commodities, and it is easy to see why Aston Villa pushed hard for his signature, the three deals they’ve completed already means the Premier League’s elite clubs should be looking over their shoulder with real concern right now.

Aston Villa are certainly on the rise with Monchi and Emery at the helm.

In other Aston Villa news, Ty Bracey has shared a big prediction ahead of next season.