Former Arsenal manager emerges as new leading candidate for Aston Villa job

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Serial Europa League winner and former Arsenal boss Unai Emery is the new favourite to become Aston Villa’s next manager.

Villarreal head coach Unai Emery has emerged as the new favourite to become the next Aston Villa manager. The former Arsenal boss, who has also managed Valencia, PSG and Sevilla, has seen his odds slashed, and reliable reports have been made.

Emery has been touted as a potential replacement ever since Steven Gerrard was sacked on October 20. Transfer news journalist Fabrizio Romano reports Villa have approached the Spaniard and are willing to pay a £5 million release clause, whereas The Telegraph mentions him as a potential successor.

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Sky Bet has issued fresh odds for the next Villa boss - with Emery now coming in at 2/5. This is a fair distance ahead of Ruben Amorim, at 6/1. The Sporting Lisbon head coach reportedly turned down the chance to replace Bruno Lage at Wolverhampton Wanderers a few weeks ago.

Winning an unprecedented three consecutive Europa League titles with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016, and then adding another win to his collection in 2021 with Villarreal, Emery has built quite a reputation in football.

The Spaniard has managed in three of Europe’s top five leagues and has an abundance of experience working at the highest level, having led an array of sides to the Champions League. In his current position, Emery has helped Villarreal to two 7th-place La Liga finishes, and that’s where they stand at the time of writing.

During his last spell in the Premier League, at Arsenal, the Gunners missed out on Champions League qualification by a single point. Emery was able to get the best out of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who netted an astonishing 31 goals during the 2018/19 campaign.

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Serial Europa League winner and former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has emerged as the new favourite to become Aston Villa’s next manager.Serial Europa League winner and former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has emerged as the new favourite to become Aston Villa’s next manager.
Serial Europa League winner and former Arsenal boss Unai Emery has emerged as the new favourite to become Aston Villa’s next manager. | Getty Images

Many will be hoping - if he comes to Villa Park - that Emery will be able to manage a decent return out of the Villans’ striking options, too. At times under Gerrard things just weren’t clicking up top, with the likes of Danny Ings, Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey unable to put together streaks of goals.

Things could well be different under a new manager - and there were good signs as Villa put four past Brentford at the weekend under interim boss Aaron Danks. As it stands, the search for a new man in the dugout is still ongoing - whether that be Emery or someone else.

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