Óscar Arias director of football Sevilla FC
First team


The Director of Football spoke to the Libre y Directo talk show in the NH Collection Hotel

Óscar Arias, Sevilla FC Director of Football, was able to evaluate this summer's transfer window on the first Libre y Directo talkshow of the season. He started by putting a value on having watched Monchi, who he stated had "been at the heart of a generation for the club and is impossible to measure up to," though the key subject was the front line of Eduardo Berizzo's side. 

"We always try and keep options alive but the necessities were covered"

He claimed there was never a true necessity to add one more to the front line "the necessities of the club finished with the incorporation of a left-back, because the squad was catered for and we didn't need anyone else. But Sevilla is used to moving well in the transfer market if interesting options present themselves. We always try and keep options alive but the necessities were covered."

He started to talk about the carrossel of names linked with Sevilla. First was Lucas Pérez: "Arsenal intended to sell him, but we ruled it out for cost. He had a very high salary. We held on to that possibility because it could have interested us, but he opted for Deportivo, it excited him and he went for it." 

"Jovetic came with a very high cost, one too much for Sevilla FC"

Arias also explained the case of Jovetic: "It's true we considered this possibility at the start, even before the purchase of Muriel, but he came with a very high cost one that was unattainable for us. We would have liked that option, but only if if the price had been acceptable."

And, of course, he spoke about Muriel: "All the work and effort we made, scouting, reports... ended up with the ball hitting the post and rebounding away. That was very unfair. You have to value the players on account of the performances they give over time. I think we are objective, we have all seen the season Muriel had, he has a lot of potential and some tremendous qualities. He gives a lot of extras to the team that other strikers cannot provide."

"A player can score 15 goals and be undroppable or he could score 20 and not be as important"

He went on to deny the importance of having one "natural goalscorer": "No, we have two. To judge a player on his goals and not the job he does, the service he can provide, what he can deliver... seems wrong to me. A player can score 15 goals and be undroppable or he could score 20 and not be as important. I don't worry about that too much, but what the player has cost does put a halo around him. I'm sure both Muriel and Ben Yedder will score enough goals, but I'm also sure other players will contribute too. The offensive potential of the team is huge and the goals we score will be shared."  

Talking about the change in manager, Arias stated "Sevillistas more or less have an idea of what they are going to see this year because Berizzo isn't new. Like Sampaoli, the two have learnt from Bielsa." He went on to recall the change in styles seen after the departure of Emery two summers ago: "We took advantage of the moment to make what we saw as a necessary change to keep growing. Sampaoli helped a lot in implanting a different kind of mentality whereby Sevilla was the dominant side and very offensive. And he used Lillo to work on possession and team shape. He looked for a hybrid between having the ball and playing on the counter. But Lillo's philosophy ended up taking over the other, which helped a lot of players impose themselves on the game, like Nzonzi, Nasri... this year Eduardo's work has a similar mentality of keeping the ball" 

"We have ambition, what we can't lose is perspective"

It's that kind of football Arias wants to use to achieve goals this season: "We have to take into account that not just our budget has grown, but also those of the others. We have three teams ahead of us, two possibly not catchable, and a third far away, though perhaps not so much. We have other teams closer to us than we are to those ahead, the battle for fourth place is going to be difficult and hard-fought. We have the ambition, what we can't lose is perspective on where we are."

Communication Department