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Emery gives Monchi ringing endorsement amid Arsenal sporting director links

710   //    23 Jan 2019, 21:08 IST
Unai Emery - cropped
Arsenal coach Unai Emery

Unai Emery spoke of his admiration for former colleague Monchi amid suggestions Arsenal could look to appoint him as their sporting director.

Earlier this week it was confirmed the Gunners' head of recruitment Sven Mislintat will vacate his post next month after a little over a year in the role.

According to reports, Arsenal have identified Roma's sporting director Monchi as someone they would like to add to their technical staff.

Monchi enjoyed great success working alongside Emery at Sevilla, who won the Europa League three times in succession from 2013-14, while Roma made it all the way through to last season's Champions League semi-finals a year after the former was brought on board.

Speaking about Monchi at his news conference, Emery said: "I can only say to you that he's working in Roma.

"I worked very well with him in Sevilla for three and a half years, and very well too.

"My relationship with him is good but this work is for the club and the issue is the club's responsibility.

"I can say to you only that he is a good person and a good professional."


Emery encouraged the club to take their time over any appointment but added he would back the hiring of a sporting director.

"Maybe if you do this recruitment very quickly, maybe you can make a mistake," he added.

"I think it's better to do without that, being calm and also finding the best possible person to do this job like we want. I think the club is working on that.

"It's not my issue. I can say the same: if the club decided to sign one sporting director, then I will agree with them."

Mislintat's impending departure comes at a time when Emery is keen to strengthen while the transfer window is open, with Hector Bellerin having joined Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck in suffering long-term injuries.

The Gunners, who are fifth in the table, three points behind Chelsea, lost Bellerin for the remainder of the season when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament at the weekend.

"I am working with our players and I think we need - and we can - sign some players to help after our injuries like Rob Holding, like Welbeck, like Hector Bellerin," Emery said.

"But we can play with the players we have now, and the same message is to you and every supporter - we only want to sign one or two players who can really help us with good performances.

"The club is working. They know our intentions, our possibilities for signing players that can help us, but they work and also with communication to us."