Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Tam McManus backs Unai Emery to raid former club in January

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Former SPFL striker Tam McManus believes that Unai Emery will be given the chance to return to his former employers for signings this winter.

The Spanish coach walked away from his post in La Liga to take up the reins at Villa Park at the end of October.

Having guided Villarreal to the Europa League trophy in 2020/21 the 51-year-old decided to return to the Premier League having previously been at the helm with Arsenal.

As with any new manager, he has been linked with some of his ex-players with Villa setting their sights on forward Samuel Chukwueze and also keen on bringing centre-back Pau Torres to the club.

Speaking to Football Insider McManus believes there is a real probability that Emery reunites with some of the Yellow Submarine players. 

He said: “I think he will go back.

“They are players he knows very well in terms of what they can do and what he can bring to the team.

“When you get off to a good start, and he has gotten off to a great start, then it buys you a bit of credit with the board.

“I think they will back him if he wants to sign those two players. Aston Villa did spend money in the summer but I think they will try and bring in two or three this winter.

“Villarreal are a small club in Spain. I don’t think the players will be earning a load of money. So Aston Villa could double or treble their wage.

“If the fees are right then I think you will see those players arriving.”

TIF Thoughts on McManus’ comments…

Do you see Emery signing any former players?

Yes, he will get a couple!

Yes, he will get a couple!

No!

No!

According to reports in Spain, Emery’s predecessor Steven Gerrard was keen to bring Torres to the club and given that the 6 ft 3 colossus, previously dubbed ‘fantastic’ by Owen Hargreaves, played such an integral role in the side’s Europa League success, being named in the team of the tournament, you could understand why his ex-coach would be keen on reuniting.

Meanwhile, while not the most prolific, Chukwueze could follow the Spanish centre-half to the west Midlands.

He has netted 29 times in 178 appearances for Villarreal but the right-winger is certainly direct.

Dubbed ‘exciting’ by compatriot and former Nigeria midfielder Mutiu Adepoju has recorded more dribbles and more shot-creating actions per 90 minutes than any of his teammates (Fbref) and Emery could well have a place for him in that Aston Villa team considering he knows exactly what he’s about.

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