Monchi lasted fewer than two years as Roma’s technical director. His time at the club will be remembered negatively by supporters as the likes of Mohamed Salah, Alisson Becker, and Kevin Strootman were all sold. Their sales ended what could have been strong Giallorossi teams.
The Spanish technical director attempted to apply the same buy low-sell high mentality that worked so well at Sevilla. Yet, his moves turned Roma into a provisional club struggling to make the top four rather than a side contending for a title.
Welcome to Arsenal
Monchi left his post at Roma along with manager Eusebio Di Francesco following the club’s exit from the Champions League. Roma’s 4-3 aggregate loss to Porto was the final straw and the highly criticised Di Francesco was sent packing. It didn’t take long for Monchi to box up his office to join the manager.
Arsenal are now set to unveil Monchi as their new technical director. At least reports in England have said as much. It is a link that makes plenty of sense. Former Sevilla manager Unai Emery is in charge of the Gunners and bringing Monchi to the Emirates would reunited the duo.
Can they repeat their Sevilla success?
If the two are reunited, Arsenal fans can look at the vast number of trophies they won together previously. Sevilla won six UEFA Cup/Europa Leagues under Monchi’s guidance — 11 trophies in all. Yet, the club never really contended for a league title.
Sevilla scouted, signed, and sold players that brought in millions of euros, €300 million to be exact, but two third place finishes were the best they could do in La Liga.
Arsenal supporters can expect the same wheeling and dealing from Monchi if he arrives at Arsenal. But will the team improve enough to challenge for a Premier League trophy?
Roma had high expectations when Monchi arrived at the Stadio Olimpico. Yet, two years on they have no trophies to show for his work. Moreover, supporters have watched Salah and Alisson excel for Livepool. The former scored twice against Roma in the Champions League semi-finals just months after being sold to Liverpool for a paltry €42m.
Monchi’s reputation for earning clubs profits from player sales could be the driving force in his potential hiring at Arsenal. Owner Stan Kroenke has not been forthcoming with transfer funds with January’s player market being an example of his reluctance to invest.
The hiring of Monchi could see the Gunners wheel and deal talent with the aim of making profits off of each player rather than fighting for trophies. Monchi famously made over €200m in profits for Sevilla. It is a figure that could lead Monchi to the Emirates, but ultimately leave Arsenal fighting for a top-four place for years to come. At least supporters are already used to the club fighting for a top four place each season.
Roma’s willingness to cut ties with the highly sought-after technical director after just two years is quite telling. Owner James Pallotta watched stars leave while large sums were spent on unknown quantities like Justin Kluivert and Patrick Schick.
Meanwhile, the likes of players past their prime years, Steven Nzonzi and Javier Pastore, were both signed for far too much money. The ageing duo cost Roma €56.5m. Pastore has tallied just 450 minutes in Serie A this term. In February, Pastore’s performances were labelled “embarrassing” by former Roma coach Walter Sabatini.
If Monchi arrives at Arsenal, and it looks likely that he will, what is in store for the Gunners? Supporters should be ready to follow down the same path travelled by both Sevilla and Roma.