Reports came out a couple of days ago that Arsenal were looking for a new sporting director for next season. Arsenal are looking for a sporting director at the right time, as Sevilla’s sporting director, Monchi is leaving his post after 16 seasons as the sporting director.
Earlier in the season it looked like Monchi would be going to A.S. Roma, but nothing was officially agreed upon. Recently Monchi has been linked with the sporting director role at Real Madrid. Then Arsenal stated they were in the market for a new sporting director, and Monchi was linked immediately. Monchi was linked for good reason as he is known in the football world as the top sporting director, and is a big contributor to Sevilla’s success since he has been at the club.
Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo, better known as Monchi, is the current sporting director at Sevilla F.C., and has been since 2000. In the 1999 season, the year before Monchi took over, Sevilla had finished 20th in La Liga (Spain’s first division) and were in a financial catastrophe. Due to their 20th place finish, Sevilla were relegated into Spain’s second division. Sevilla finished in first in the second division, and were promoted back to the first division, and haven’t gone back to the second division since. Sevilla are also the only team to win the Europa League three times in a row. However, Monchi had no direct influence on the teams on field performance, because he was not a coach, but just a sporting director. However, Monchi did have an influence on what players came into the club.
Since Sevilla were in a dreadful financial situation, Monchi decided to buy young players for a cheap price, and then develop those players, and then sell them for more than he originally bought them for. Monchi made this into an art.
Some of the players Monchi turned huge sums of profits on are José Antonio Reyes (20 million euros profit), Sergio Ramos (27 million euros profit), Júlio Baptista (16.5 million euros profit), Dani Alves (34.5 million euros profit), Seydou Keita (10 million euros profit), Álvaro Negredo (10 million euros profit), Jesús Navas (20 million euros profit), Geoffrey Kondogbia (16 Million euros profit), Gary Medel (10 million euros profit), Alberto Moreno (18 million euros profit), Ivan Rakitić (15.5 million euros profit), Aleix Vidal (14 million euros profit), Carlos Bacca (20 million euros profit), Grzegorz Krychowiak (28 million euros profit), and Kévin Gameiro (24.5 million euros profit).
This isn’t to say that Arsenal don’t turn good profits on players, but Monchi seems to turn profits on a couple of players each season, and those profits are over ten million euros usually. Monchi doesn’t have the biggest budget at Sevilla, but Arsenal have a huge budget. This would allow Monchi to spend more on bigger players, but still find bargains in the market.
Another positive reason for Monchi to join Arsenal is it would relieve some stress from Arsène Wenger, if he returns next season. Monchi has always had a good relationship with multiple managers at his time with Sevilla. He always buys the type of players the manager wants, and the players that would fit into the team’s system. It would also give a morale boost to the fans as Monchi is highly recognized in the football world, and would be considered as a great addition to the coaching staff.
Why would Monchi sign for Arsenal? If Real Madrid are looking to hire Monchi wouldn’t he go there since he would most likely be paid more, have a bigger budget at his disposal, and there are more serious links to him going there? On the other hand, Sevilla are close competitors to Real Madrid in La Liga, and Monchi may not want to be a part of another Spanish team. Monchi may also feel like the huge budget would be almost too easy to him as he usually finds bargains and not the obvious expensive signings that Real Madrid make. Maybe he wants more of challenge, which the gunners certainly obtain.
Monchi will add an element to the gunners if he joins them, but it won’t change Arsenal’s problems. Arsenal still lack that drive and intensity that they had with the invincibles. They also lack a desire from the board to not just settle for the top four, but instead make a real challenge to win the league. They also lack a drive to get past the first round of the Champions League. Monchi won’t solve all the problems that Arsenal have if he comes in as the new sporting director, but he will certainly be a step in the right direction.