HomeFootball NewsAston Villa getting ready for a season with European football

Aston Villa getting ready for a season with European football


After a 13-year wait, European football is set to return to Villa Park following a tremendous turnaround in Aston Villa’s form last season under manager Unai Emery. The last time Villa had such a successful season was under Martin O’Neil in the 2009-10 campaign, when they finished in 6th place and clinched a Europa League spot ahead of Liverpool. Last season was just as triumphant after finishing 7th ahead of Spurs to take the last European place.

The main reason credited for their rise up the table in the 2022-23 campaign has been the appointment of European serial winner Emery. The former Arsenal manager took over when the club sat in 15th place and had picked up six losses in the first 11 games of the Premier League season. A 3-1 home victory against Manchester United as Emery’s first game showcased the potential in the Villa squad.

After 10 games unbeaten from late February to early April catapulted Villa into the European spots, they were able to take the final European spot on the last day ahead of Spurs.

Looking ahead to the next campaign, Aston Villa are aiming to bring in some big European names to bolster their squad ahead of a season with added games due to their involvement in the UEFA Conference League. One big signing has already been made in midfield: Youri Tielemans has been acquired on free transfer after his contract expired at relegated Leicester.

Emery is also looking at his former club Villarreal for players, and Villa are being linked heavily with Spanish centre-back, Pau Torres. The Europa League-winning defender played over 100 times under Emery which is the main reason he wants the switch to England.

Aston Villa are also looking to go up against Brighton for the signing of Dutch midfielder Teun Koopmeiners. The Atalanta man is also attracting interest from top Italian clubs, meaning a deal will come with competition from other sides. The 25-year-old had a magnificent season, scoring 10 goals in Serie A (which included two hattricks in home games against Torino and Monza).

Alongside the new signings and potential transfers, the current squad looks very strong for the upcoming season. In defence, Ezri Konsa was irreplaceable alongside former captain Tyrone Mings. Both players only missed one game as a partnership under Emery.

After the change of manager, the Villa midfield was able to start contributing more with an increase in goals and assists. In particular, the likes of Douglas Luiz and Jacob Ramsey were key in Aston Villa’s positive results. The Brazilian Luiz scored five times under Emery. The Villa Academy star Ramsey was able to score five and assist six times under the Spanish manager in the Premier League.

The main man for Villa next season will be Ollie Watkins. He was the major improvement under Emery last season, going from two goals in 13 before the arrival of former PSG boss to finishing the season on a Premier League career best of 15. Going forward into this new season Watkins will be the player to once again provide the goals for Villa.

A successful season next year for Aston Villa will be looking to cement another top-seven finish in the league.

In Europe, they will seek to match West Ham, and bringing the UEFA Conference League trophy back to Villa Park must be the aim., especially under Unai Emery who has won four Europa Leagues in his managerial career. With the right signings and a continuation of the momentum Villa generated last season, it could be another high-flying campaign on the way.





Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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