Monchi-Time – Sevilla rebuilding for life under Lopetegui

Sevilla vs Valencia Match Preview & Prediction

Few teams embrace the transfer window quite like Sevilla. While many clubs of their size and stature would dread the onset of another summer and the prospect of losing star players again to clubs with deeper pockets, Sevilla have perfected the art of cashing in on their biggest assets and reinvesting wisely to ensure they are at least as strong the following year.

The mastermind behind the operation for close to two decades has been Sporting Director Monchi with the Andalusian’s astute business providing the foundations for the most successful period in the club’s history. However this is the first summer since 2016 with Monchi in charge of the comings and goings at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan after his ill-fated stint in Rome ended with the 50-year old returning home in April, almost exactly two years on from his departure.

Monchi has wasted no time in getting down to the task of revitalising a squad that has arguably weakened while he has been away as Sevilla get ready for life under new boss Julen Lopetegui. They’ve been one of the most active clubs in La Liga so-far this summer with a net spend of €43.5m despite some significant departures. Here’s a rundown of their transfer activity so far:


Sevilla Transfers – Summer 2019


The Sales – €51.6m

Gabriel Mercado
Defender – to Al-Rayyan (free)

Luis Muriel
Forward – to Atalanta (€17.8m)

Quincy Promes
Winger – to Ajax (€15.8)

Marc Gual
Forward – to Girona (loan)

Pablo Sarabia
Midfielder – to PSG (€18m)

Sevilla have recouped over €50 million through three principal sales. The biggest of those was the departure of Pablo Sarabia for PSG. From one perspective, it’s yet another example of the extraordinary business Sevilla have done in the transfer market over the last decade or two. Sarabia was a steal at €1 million when he joined from Getafe in the summer of 2016. He departs for eighteen times that amount after the Parisians met his release clause but after a brilliant season in which the winger reached double figures for goals and assists in La Liga, his true value is surely at least double the fee paid by the Ligue 1 outfit.

Monchi will have to pull another rabbit out of the hat if he is to be able to find a suitable replacement for Sarabia on anything like that kind of budget. There will be considerable regret that they failed to tie the 27 year old down to a new deal with a larger release clause but on a brighter note, Sevilla have managed to secure healthy fees for a couple of players who had less impact at the Sanchez-Pizjuan.

They’ve also received close to €18m for the services of Luis Muriel from Champions League debutants Atalanta. The Colombian had fallen down the pecking order in Seville and spent the second half of last season on loan at Fiorentina. Having only netted eight times in La Liga during two seasons at the club, Sevilla will be pleased to get the 28 year old off their books for a substantial fee and the same might be said of Quincy Promes who has moved to Ajax for just under €16m. That still represents a net loss on the fee Sevilla paid Spartak Moscow for his services last summer but Promes failed to command a regular starting role in Andalusia, appearing more times off the bench than in the starting eleven during a disjointed season where the Dutch international featured in a variety of different positions without making any one his own.

New Arrivals – €95.1m

Munas Dabbur
Forward – from Red Bull Salzburg (€14.8m)

Diego Carlos
Defender – from Nantes (€14.8m)

Joan Jordán
Midfielder – from Eibar (€15m)

Luuk de Jong
Forward – from PSV Eindhoven (€12.5m)

Jules Koundé
Defender – from Bordeaux (€25m)

Lucas Ocampos
Winger – from Marseille (€13m)

The coaching appointment of Julen Lopetegui last month, always suggested a significant rebuild would be needed to mould a squad to fit his preferred style of play which is very different to that of predecessors Pablo Machin and Joaquin Caparros. Jorge Sampaoli, Eduardo Berizzo and Vincenzo Montella also departed during the two years Monchi was in Italy and the hope will be that his return coupled with the appointment of Lopetegui will bring some much needed stability back to the club.

Sevilla’s squad will have a new look to it when it reconvenes after the summer break with no fewer than six €10m+ arrivals so far. They’ve raided Ligue 1 for defenders Jules Koundé and Diego Carlos. The latter is a 26 year old Brazilian who impressed for Nantes last term but the capture of 20 year old French Under-20 international Koundé for a club record fee is the more eye-catching deal. With five other centre-backs still on their books, it’s safe to assume we can expect a few more defensive departures before the summer is out and Sevilla’s back-line is likely to have a very different look to it next term with the loan signing of Real Madrid full-back Sergio Reguilón also expected to be announced over the coming days.

While there may be an element of risk to those moves, the capture of Joan Jordán from Eibar for €15m looks like a pretty safe bet. Jordán was a man in demand after another impressive campaign in the Basque Country and he should bring a touch of control to the Sevilla midfield. Whether he has been signed as a replacement for or to complement Ever Banega remains to be seen but the 24 year old is certainly a player who looks capable of flourishing in a Lopetegui side.

Lucas Ocampos is another Ligue 1 recruit who will be out to win a starting role on the left flank having contributed plenty for Marseille over the past twelve months. His arrival is likely to pave the way for Nolito to depart with rumours of a return to former club Celta Vigo for the Spanish international, another who hasn’t really delivered the goods in Seville.

Up front, Sevilla look well set for the new campaign already. Andre Silva has returned to Milan having failed to build on an opening day hat-trick against Rayo. They may ultimately decide Wissam Ben Yedder is worth cashing in on amidst rumoured interest from Manchester United but assuming he stays, Sevilla will have four strong options up top with Munir making a promising start to his career with the club and new signings Luuk de Jong and Munas Dabbur both joining following prolific goalscoring seasons in the Netherlands and Austria respectively.

We may see fresh departures before any major new arrivals given Sevilla have already spent pretty big but a right-sided winger is likely to be a priority now following the exit of Sarabia. Overall though, they look to have most bases covered and have managed to do a lot of their business early this time around which should help Julen Lopetegui out with pre-season on the horizon. It’s an important campaign coming up where Sevilla will be looking to get back on track following a rocky couple of years where they’ve been plagued by instability off the pitch and have failed to make the top four on it.


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Article via Mark Sochon – Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter

Spanish football writer
About Mark Sochon 1602 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has also lived in Seville and Barcelona and has written extensively about Spanish football. His work has been published by the likes of Guardian Sport & World Soccer.

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