After securing European football at the end of 2022/23 campaign, attention now turns to firmly to the close season.
It looks set to be a summer of change, as the club seeks to take advantage of Europa Conference competition, a prospect unimaginable when Steven Gerrard left the club a mere matter of months ago.
Here’s the latest on the arrival of ‘Monchi’, Youri Tielemans and exit of Christian Purslow.
Key Updates In Brief
Villa & Purslow To Part WaysEmbed from Getty Images
It was recently announced that Christian Purslow is to step down from his role as club CEO, a role he has held since 2018. The ‘Fernando Torres of Finance‘ has overseen a period of progression at the club, and whilst not without his flaws, will leave having put Villa in a better place.
Championship promotion, retaining PL status in the season that followed and the clubs attainment of Europa Conference football will no doubt feature high on a list of achievements. The club has also been re-positioned commercially, with controversial increases in ticket pricing and ethically questionable sponsorship deals with betting firms.
The much-needed redevelopment of the North Stand was also a project driven by Purslow, but it will be something that he won’t see come to fruition with work set to commence in 2024, and still beholden to local transport infrastructure improvements. And whilst the loss of Grealish was a hammer blow to most supporters, Purslow recognised an opportunity to sweat the asset, securing a colossal £100 million fee from Manchester City.
It wasn’t all plain sailing. Purslow’s reign must be considered against a backdrop of (at times) erratic and costly player recruitment, and a calamitous decision in appointing Gerrard as manager.
The latter was likely a signal to Villa’s owners that control needed to be wrestled away from the former Liverpool and Chelsea heavyweight, evidenced by the appointment of Chris Heck (President of Business Operations) and the anticipated arrival of Seville’s Sporting Director ‘Monchi’.
Monchi InboundEmbed from Getty Images
Villa’s owners appear hellbent on reshaping the hierarchy of the football club, with Seville’s 54-year-old Sporting Director expected to be confirmed shortly.
Monchi is reported to be arriving immediately, with Villa offering a hefty fee for his release from the La Liga club. Johan Lange, Villa’s current Sporting Director is not understood to be at risk.
The thought process is strikingly clear. The Spaniard has been a constant as Seville secured seven Europa League victories. Unai Emery, Villa’s current boss, was in charge of three of those title-winning seasons.
Youri Tielemans SignsEmbed from Getty Images
Whilst the wounds of Leicester’s relegation from the Premier League were still fresh, Villa wasted no time in swooping for Belgian international Tielemans.
The FA Cup winning midfielder arrives on a free transfer and has signed a four-year deal, officially joining on 1st July on the expiration of his contract with The Foxes.
This deal looks on the face of it a shrewd piece of business, with the 26-year-old entering the prime of his playing career. The midfielder will certainly be looking to rekindle the form and displays that turned heads prior to his arrival from Monaco and before Leicester’s rapid collapse to The Championship.
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