It’s time for Sevilla to win La Liga with visionary manager Monchi at the top
Seville continues to roll. A Europa League powerhouse for so long, he was a touching distance from winning the La Liga trophy last season and, in no mood for self-pity, is back for more under the leadership of the trainer Julen Lopetegui.
Failure is disappointing, but approaching it sends a strong message. The team hasn’t won the national title in 75 years, and ending that wait is the next step. Considering the current state of affairs, this might be his best chance to do the unthinkable.
Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid have dominated for so long. If their grip is to loosen, this could be the year. Barcelona’s plan is unclear, with financial problems hanging over them and La Liga slashing their spending budget by € 300m ($ 348m). Real Madrid have their work cut out for them following a shocking home loss to Sheriff Tiraspol’s Moldovan side in the Champions League. Atlético have Griezmann back, although losing to modest Alavés means it’s far from compelling.
It’s a tall order for Sevilla, but there is reason to believe it. The club are carefully run from top to bottom, with manager Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo — or Monchi — at the helm and former Spain national team boss Lopetegui guiding players on the pitch.
The calculated Spain team
Sevilla usually buy their most important players for small amounts of money. The much-loved advocate Julen Koundé, for example, has sparked interest across Europe and will almost certainly provide a financial boost to his employer if he leaves and when he leaves. At 22, he has the world at his feet.
The team is holding out on Koundé and will only sell when its value increases. If he leaves, there will be replacements. The Sevilla squad rarely stays the same. It changes often, sometimes drastically, with each season and rarely collapses as a result. This is the sign of good recruitment.
Great club mentality
In many ways, astute director Monchi defines Seville. His brain is behind the shrewd transfer deals, his claim to fame during a 20-year tenure, briefly when he traded Sevilla for Italian side Roma in 2019.
To say that Monchi and Sevilla are only cautious when it comes to dealing with players would be wrong, however. The team has an ambitious, if not slightly ambiguous, innovation center that transcends football. Its goals include improving the club’s knowledge base through academic partnerships and a focus on technology and data to gain competitive advantage. In this sense, one could say that Sevilla is both a club of today and of tomorrow.
Take the next step
Sevilla recruiting is excellent overall, and the club may be ahead of their time. While these things are unlikely to change anytime soon, this season presents a unique opportunity with the big teams showing signs of weakness.
Moroccan striker Youssef En-Nesyri, who Arsenal is said to be interested in, is one of La Liga’s most efficient strikers. Experienced midfielder Ivan Rakitic and young Koundé are equally important in the deeper positions.
Sevilla have apparently shaken off the relative disappointment of failing in the last campaign. If there is no leader on the run as the race picks up, it will be in the mix and better for the experience.