What can Arsenal fans expect from ex-Roma director Monchi?

12 March at 14:30
Technical director Monchi, looks set to team up with Unai Emery at Arsenal, who previously enjoyed a successful time together at Sevilla when they won the Europa League 3 times in succession. Arsenal fans might be excited about the possible appointment, however, will the former Roma man be a success?
 
Despite his time in the Italian capital coming to an unsavoury end, the Spaniard’s track record still shows plenty of examples of this success in the transfer market. After handing Özil a mega-deal last year, coupled with the signings of Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, Arsenal haven't got much room for manoeuvre when it comes to spending big money in the transfer market.
 
However, there is a feeling that Arsenal very much need proven players who can hit the ground running. Monchi signings will not be afforded the luxury of time. As was seen at Roma, in a city famous for its intense footballing pressure, Monchi’s tactic of selling proven players in place of youth was hit and miss. The team are currently in 5th and are at risk of missing out of the Champions League which would undoubtedly be considered a failure for a team that finished 3rd last time out.
 
Young signings such as Ante Coric (€6 million) Justin Kluivert (€19 million) and Patrik Schick (€42 million) have all struggled in the capital, something that doesn’t bode well for Arsenal fans. Robin Olsen, who was elected to replace Alisson in goal has looked out of his depth at times and the cultured midfielder Javier Pastore has failed to show any of the form he did at PSG and Palermo before that.
 
However, it is not all bad news, Monchi, could be the ideal director for a team on a budget. In Rome, his two most recent successes have come at a low cost. Lorenzo Pellegrini was bought from Sassuolo for only 10 million and wonderkid Nicolò Zaniolo was acquired from Inter in part of the deal that saw Radja Nainggolan go the other way plus for 24 million euro.
 
Monchi is not just proven at selling youngsters. He offloaded Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman for €24 and €22.5 million respectively. Both players are entering the twilight of their careers and it was considered the last chance Roma could recoup good money for the pair. The former deal now considered a masterstroke as the Belgium has struggled for fitness and form in Milan.
 
During his time at Sevilla, Monchi made over €300 million from player sales, €75 of that coming from the sale of youth academy graduates Sergio Ramos, Jesús Nevas and José Antonio Reyes. He also uncovered young talents such as Dani Alvez and former Arsenal player Julio Baptista and moved them on for a huge profit.
 
In a league that puts a premium on young English players, which is evident from Dominic Solanke’s recent £19 million transfer from Liverpool to Bournemouth. Arsenal fans might hope that Monchi can work his magic in offloading some of the sides young talents that just fall short of the mark. Although he is currently showing promise, names like Maitland-Niles could be sold for substantial money to a side battling to break into the top 6.
 
With Arsenal’s vast youth academy talent, players such Smith-Rowe and Ben Sheaf and Reiss Nelson could all be used to recoup some cash should they fail to break into the first team.

 

Similar dead wood like Danny Welbeck, who has struggled to see regular game time with the arrival of Aubameyang and Lacazzette and Alex Iwobi, although Nigerian, could also be moved on for a handsome sum, money that Monchi could invest in proven players of Champions League quality.
 
Despite his time at Roma coming to an end prematurely, Monchi’s ability to spot a gem is still unquestionable. At Arsenal, he will be working with a manager he knows and trust and that will back his decisions. The two have the possibility to work wonders for a side on a budget. However, with the wounds from his time in Rome still fresh, it’s not clear then fans will afford him such a privilege.
 
 
 
 
 

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