Unai Emery sets out Aston Villa priorities as midfield star reveals major reason behind summer move

3 minute read

Unai Emery insists Aston Villa will target cup glory in the upcoming season and expects to utilise his entire squad in what will be a busy campaign.

The Villans looked set for a relegation battle last term until the board opted to part company with Steven Gerrard. Emery replaced the Liverpool legend and guided his charges to seventh in the Premier League standings. They won 18 top-flight games, qualifying for the Europa Conference League play-off round.

The challenge now is to maintain an upward curve after surprising many with the way they turned around their campaign.

Villa have brought in a few players, with Moussa Diaby arriving from Bayer Leverkusen and Pau Torres from Villarreal.

Youri Tielemans has also been recruited after he left relegated Leicester City on a free transfer.

Winning the Premier League will not be an option, even with Emery at the helm.

But it seems as though the former Arsenal chief is not content to just make up the numbers. And he wants to take a familiar path to silverware.

“For us to play in the FA Cup, in Carabao Cap – thinking it’s a way for a trophy,” he told Mail Sport.

“It’s my area, and in Conference League I think we have to do the same.

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“Try to be demanding, facing the possibility to win a trophy. And then it’s the Premier League, we have to be consistent.”

And, with the possibility of a European run as well, the 51-year-old knows that strength in depth will be key.

“We will need everybody, we will need every player, and they are going to have minutes to play,” he added.

Emery factor behind Tielemans capture

Aston Villa may not yet be done in the transfer market this summer. They have been linked with a move for Juventus winger Samuel Iling-Junior.

The 19-year-old Englishman might be sold as Juve look to lower their wage bill following expulsion from European competition.

He is an exciting talent but would probably not be a first-team regular to begin with at Villa Park.

One man who looks certain to be on most of Emery’s team sheets is Tielemans.

The Belgium international did not have his best season for the Foxes in 2022-2023 but he was not alone in that respect.

He remains a talented player who has plenty of time to recapture his previous form.

The 26-year-old was not short of suitors after leaving King Power. And he confessed that the prospect of working with Emery swayed his decision to wear claret and blue.

“The manager was really big as well, because when I talked to him, he explained me his project, how he sees me into the team and fitting into the squad,” he told Mail Sport.

“And I really felt the love of the manager and the confidence, and as a player, that’s what you need.

“You don’t need much to be honest, and you need a lot of love and confidence from the manager, from the club, and then, after that, obviously from your team-mates.

“But that will come automatically with training and with games. And then you have to perform well, obviously.”

Emery has won the Europa League on three occasions with Sevilla while he also lifted that trophy with Villarreal.

Add to that two Coupe de France and a brace of Coupe de la Ligue titles with Paris Saint-Germain and it is clear where his talents lie.

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