Unai Emery will be backed by Aston Villa’s owners in January with the club’s spending since promotion in 2019 to rise to almost £500MILLION… with the Spaniard ‘confident’ ahead of his first game in the dugout against Man United

  • Unai Emery was appointed as Steven Gerrard’s replacement as Aston Villa boss
  • The Spaniard is set to be backed by the club in the January transfer window
  • Villa currently lie just one point above the relegation zone and in 16th place
  • They face Manchester United on Sunday in Emery’s first game in charge  

Unai Emery will be backed in the January transfer market with Aston Villa set to take their spending since promotion close to the £500million mark.

Villa, who are owned by billionaires Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, appointed the Spaniard to replace Steven Gerrard and he takes charge of his first game, against Manchester United at Villa Park.

Since promotion in 2019, Villa have spent about £414m on players, though they did sell Jack Grealish to Manchester City for £100m last year. But Emery will be granted funds when the market re-opens with a winger high on the list of targets. Villa’s move for Watford’s Ismaila Sarr last summer was blocked by Gerrard, while Emery is known to admire Arnaut Danjuma and Nicolas Jackson at former club Villarreal.

Unai Emery will be backed by significant funds in the January transfer market with Aston Villa set to take their spending since promotion in 2019 close to the £500million mark

Unai Emery will be backed by significant funds in the January transfer market with Aston Villa set to take their spending since promotion in 2019 close to the £500million mark

Emery is back for a second crack at English football after he was sacked by Arsenal in November 2019, following an 18-month stint in north London. One of his greatest nights as a coach was when his Villarreal side beat United on penalties in the 2021 Europa League Final.

United are improved under Erik ten Hag and have a superb record at Villa Park, but Emery had a glint in his eye as he discussed his new side’s prospects.

‘On Friday morning we watched the last matches Aston Villa played against Manchester United and the results were so tight,’ said Emery.

One of Emery's finest achievement as manager was winning the Europa League with Villareal

One of Emery’s finest achievement as manager was winning the Europa League with Villareal 

Villa CEO Christian Purslow (L) believes the appointment of Emery is a crucial time for the club

Villa CEO Christian Purslow (L) believes the appointment of Emery is a crucial time for the club

‘The teams were close to each other. We have done the initial analysis of United and I am confident. So are the players. It’s so important to play here at Villa Park with our supporters because I think we are better with them.’

Emery is expected to work from a basic 4-2-3-1 shape, prioritising defensive organisation and speed on the counter-attack. The Villa hierarchy have long believed this is the system best suited to their squad.

The 51-year-old’s appointment was driven by Sawiris and chief executive Christian Purslow believes it is ‘this is the most important moment and step since we were promoted from the Championship three-and-a-half years ago.’

He added: ‘Unai will have the personal support of the owners in driving forward the first team, and the crucial work of bringing through young talent.’ With Villa starting the weekend only one point above the relegation zone, it is essential the new era starts well.

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