It has been a very busy summer at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan with a radical squad overhaul following Monchi’s return to the club and the appointment of a new coach. Read on for our Sevilla season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 6th
Despite a bright start with Sevilla briefly topping the table in the Autumn, things went sour pretty quickly for Pablo Machin in Seville. Joaquin Caparros dismissed Machin following a surprise and somewhat unfortunate Europa League exit in Prague, only to appoint himself as caretaker boss for the second season running. Caparros failed to truly turn things around though with a heavy home defeat against Leganes effectively ending their hopes of Champions League qualification. The only positive in the end was that they managed to finish 6th and not 7th, thus avoiding another early start in Europe which appeared to lead to considerable fatigue as last season wore on.
Sevilla Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Jules Koundé – €25m from Bordeaux
Diego Carlos – €15m from Nantes
Munas Dabbur – €15m from RB Salzburg
Lucas Ocampos – €15m from Marseille
Joan Jordán – €14m from Eibar
Luuk de Jong – €12.5m from PSV
Óliver Torres – €12m from Porto
Maximilian Wöber – €10.5m from Ajax
Fernando – €4.5m from Galatasaray
Nemanja Gudelj – FREE from GZ Evergrande
Sergio Reguilón – LOAN from Real Madrid
Pablo Sarabia – €18m to PSG
Quincy Promes – €15.75m to Ajax
Luis Muriel – €15m to Atalanta
Yan Brice – €1m to Granada
Gabriel Mercado – FREE to Al Rayyan
(Transfers up to 23rd July 2019)
Coach – Julen Lopetegui
The appointment of Julen Lopetegui marks a slight change in approach for Sevilla who really need some stability now after a host of coaching changes in recent years. Lopetegui will be hungry to prove a point after a nightmare 2018 which saw him fired by both Spain and Real Madrid. He will be working under Monchi as Sporting Director which has the feel of a pretty good arrangement but Lopetegui will have his work cut out if he is to quickly mould together a squad that has undergone a radical overhaul.
Possible Sevilla Team Next Season
Julen Lopetegui has been utilising a 4-3-3 formation in pre-season and the Sevilla side that takes to the field on the opening weekend against Espanyol will look very different to the one that ended the last campaign under Caparros against Athletic.
In goal, Tomáš Vaclík will provide some continuity following an impressive 2018/19 season. He will have to get used to playing behind a new central defensive pairing though. Maximilian Wöber has converted his loan move into a permanent deal but Gabriel Mercado has been released and Simon Kjær may follow him out the exit door. Sevilla have spent in excess of €50m on new centre-backs this summer including club record signing Jules Koundé who may partner fellow new boy Diego Carlos in the heart of defence. There will be real competition at left-back too with Real Madrid’s Sergio Reguilón set to do battle with Sergio Escudero.
Some uncertainty continues over the futures of a few midfielders but for now Ever Banega remains and he could potentially link up with new arrival Joan Jordan giving Sevilla some real quality on the ball in the middle park, which is certainly something Lopetegui looks for in his teams. Former Manchester City midfielder Fernando may be utilised in the holding role with Roque Mesa potentially on his way out. Óliver Torres is another midfield recruit who will be hoping to forge his way into the starting eleven.
Up top, much will depend on what happens with Wissam Ben Yedder who is reported to have agreed personal terms with Manchester United. Andre Silva, Quincy Promes and Luis Muriel have all already left while the departure of winger Pablo Sarabia is the biggest blow Sevilla have been dealt this summer. If Ben Yedder goes too, there will be a huge void to fill in terms of goals given Sarabia and Ben Yedder netted 45 times between them in all competitions last term. Marseille winger Lucas Ocampos is an exciting addition while Luuk de Jong and Munas Dabbur will compete for a start up top. Munir will also be competing for a slot in the first eleven and his versatility could be of real use to Lopetegui.
Key Man – Joan Jordán
Joan Jordan scoring his first Sevilla goal from a direct freekick ? pic.twitter.com/J9fUc4PFRd
— El Mudo Kevin (@Sevilla4Life) July 18, 2019
There is competition for places all over the pitch for Sevilla now and none of their summer buys will be guaranteed a starting role. However perhaps the pick of their signings is Joan Jordán who was excellent for Eibar last season and is ready to step up and show his qualities on a bigger stage. His elegance on the ball and impressive passing range should make him a real asset to his coach who favours a possession based game and Jordán looks capable of kicking on and really establishing himself as one of the star midfielders in La Liga.
One to Watch – Jules Koundé
There will be pressure on the young shoulders of Jules Koundé given the fee involved but Monchi is clearly a big fan of the 20 year old centre-back. He enjoyed a breakout season in Ligue 1 with Bordeaux last term and he will be hoping to make his mark in La Liga this term. Koundé is not particularly tall for a centre-back but appears to be a cool customer and it’ll be interesting to see whether Sevilla trust him from the off or opt to ease him into first team action.
Sevilla 2019-2020 Targets
Monchi has always been the man with the magic touch in the transfer market but even by his standards, he really hasn’t held back this summer. Ten players have already arrived who weren’t at the club last term and that’s a large number for any club. They do at least look to have a squad with enough depth to cope with European football which perhaps wasn’t always the case last term. However on the surface and on the assumption that Ben Yedder moves on, their potential first-choice eleven looks weaker than last term. A push for 4th place will be the objective again but a top six finish and a stronger Europa League showing may be a more realistic objective.
Read all our La Liga predictions here as we look ahead to the new season which starts on Friday 16th August.
Sevilla season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter