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Paul King - Becoming Royalty

Started on 10 June 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 2 October 2019 by ScottT
I did not expect this! A fantastic opportunity for Paul at Sevilla. And of course he is mates with Hennessey... ;)
I guess King is now Livin' Sevilla Loca.

Meeting the Team

With the LaLiga season ending little over a month ago, and with Pre-Season just three weeks away, it is vital I evaluate my inherited squad as soon as possible.


Tomas Vaclik

Our current number one goalkeeper is Tomas Vaclik, a Czech Republic international who was signed for €7,000,000 from FC Basel. In his first season, the 31 year old kept 10 clean sheets, conceding 30 in his 29 games. This season just gone, he kept 8 clean sheets in 37 league games, conceding 46. He will remain our current number one for this season and hopefully he will repay our faith.

Leandro Chichizola

Leandro Chichizola was signed at the beginning of last season for a fee of €425,000 from LaLiga rivals Getafe. The Argentine goalkeeper failed to make a single appearance for the team last year and we may look to move him on as his wages of €10,250 a week are rather high for someone who isn’t contributing.

Full Backs

Gabriel Mercado

One of the standout players last season, Gabriel Mercado looks a good option as our number one right back in the short term. Mercado, capped 35 times by Argentina, has been the number one option at Sevilla for four years now. Scoring three and assisting five last season, he has a touch of creativity about him that I am looking forward to seeing.

Danny Simpson

The English right-back was a surprise signing from Sevilla last year, as the former Premier League winner was signed on a free as Gabriel Mercado’s backup. Despite being a backup option, the 33 year old is on a ridiculous €37,500 per week. As well as this, he was very poor in his 13 games last season and therefore we will be looking to move him on.

Sergio Escudero

On the left side, Sergio Escudero is currently the only senior option in his position. Having been first choice for almost five years, Sergio still has a lot of talent to offer us. We will however, be looking for a rotation option for him as we cannot rely on him being fit for every game throughout the year.


Simon Kjær

Club captain Simon Kjær, has been with the team for three seasons now, having signed from Fenerbahçe for €12,500,000. Having featured in 72 league game since his arrival, Simon will be a key player for me in the coming seasons.

Sergi Gómez
Sergi Gómez will most likely be Simons, partner at the back this coming season. Having formed a solid partnership with Simon over the past couple of seasons, it would be a bad decision to split them up in my opinion. Sergi will bring more composure at the back and be able to comfortably pass the ball out from the backline, something I like to see.

Joris Gnagnon
Our third choice center-back is Joris Gnagnon, a 23 year old French under 21 international. Joris was a big money buy two years back, costing us a total of €15,000,000. He is highly rated around the club and looks like he could turn into a very good defender in the near future.


Jesús Navas
One of just three players that has come through the clubs academy, Jesús Navas is a name familiar to everyone in the game. The former English Premier League Winner with Manchester City, where he spent his only four years away from the club, brings a wealth of experience to the team. Having also been apart of Spain's FIFA 2010 World Cup and European Championships 2012 wins, he will be a role model for the youngsters coming through here.

Quincy Promes
A once highly rated prospect after impressing in Holland and Russia, where he starred at Spartak Moscow. Now 28, Promes was signed two seasons ago for €18,750,000 and has so far impressed scoring 12 goals in his 61 games from the right wing, 8 of which came the season just past.

Pablo Sarabia
The Spanish winger, once on the books of Real Madrid, Pablo Sarabia was another standout last season. With five goals and four assists in 33 games, he played an important part in getting the team to Europa League football. In the current plans, Pablo will be our starting right winger this season.

Alejandro Pozo
Youth graduate, Alejandro Pozo is a man who has a lot of hype surrounding him at Sevilla, and rightly so. The 21 year old is full of potential and made his Sevilla first team debut last season, ending the season with six appearances. Having had Emil Forsberg on loan from RB Leipzig and Nolito, whos contract won’t be renewed, at the club last season, Pozo found it tough to breakthrough. But in an ageing squad, I will look to see a more youthful team with Pozo being my number one option on the left.

Central Midfielders

Éver Banega
Once linked with a big move to Arsenal, Éver Banega has 71 caps for Argentina and is another experienced member to this squad. With a high level of skill and flair to his game, Banega will be a creative force to this team.

Roque Mesa
Following his €6,000,000 move from Swansea two seasons ago, Roque Mesa has served as Éver Banega’s central midfield partner. Roque is a player with the sort of abilities I love in a footballer. A very high work rate he will be perfect for the system I aim to implement in Spain.

Felipe Carballo
Another South American in the midfield, Felipe Carballo will be third choice at best this season. The Uruguayan signed for €1,200,000 three seasons ago, but only made his club debut last season, featuring in 10 league games. He was at best underwhelming and is potentially going to be moved on in the summer.

Franco Vázquez
With over 120 games for the club in the past four years, Franco has been an ever present member of the team. He has also been a consistent producer from his attacking midfield position with 26 goals in that time. Another creator in the side, Franco will be someone who will play a major role in the side for the next few years.


La Masia product, Munir once looked like a striker for the future, however he left Barcelona for us in 2018 and has since been on loan at Lyon and Real Sociedad.Scoring just three goals in the past 35 league games, he will be given a season to prove himself this year, but if he doesn’t impress we will look to cash in on him next summer.

Wissam Ben Yedder
The one time French striker, Wissam Ben Yedder scored nine goals in 16 league starts last season. In my initial evaluation, I see Wissam as our number one striking option, but with the striker department being our deepest area, that could change during pre-season. He is a great finisher and his movement off the ball allows him to get into very dangerous areas, consistently.

Munas Dabbur
The clubs top scorer last season, with a total of ten in 30 league matches, Munas Dabbur signed from Red Bull Salzburg for €15,000,000. The Israeli impressed last season and it is likely that he will be in rotation with Wissam Ben Yedder throughout the season.

Luis Muriel
Colombian International, Luis Muriel moves to Europe over a decade ago with high expectations. However, since his move to Udinese in 2010, the striker has only scored double figures in the league twice with his best return coming in 2014/15 where he scored 11 in 22. I don’t see Luis as a player who will feature for me and at €83,000 a week contract, he is someone we will be moving on.

Carlos Fernández
Another striker who was away on loan last season, is also one of the three youth graduates in the side. Carlos spent last season on loan at Sporting Lisbon, scoring twice in 13 games, where he only started once. At 24, Carlos is another player who will be given a chance, but with a year remaining on his contract, he is going to have to impress to see him receive a renewed deal.

Youth Prospects

Sevilla have a number of promising youth talents in this squad. With a number of teams throughout including second side ‘Sevilla Atlético’ we are blessed with good facilities to develop our youngsters.

Aimar Jiménez
Aimar Jiménez is the youngest of our prospects, aged just 16. Signing from Real Sociedad for €275,000 last season, he has already made his first time debut, albeit a few minuets from the bench. He has a long way to develop but if he reaches his potential he will be a star attacking midfielder for this teak for the next15 years.

Cristóbal Iglesias
Another youngster to have featured in the first team, Cristóbal Iglesias has made four league appearances since coming through the youth ranks in 2018/19. The central midfielder impressed for Sevilla C last season and he will be a part of my pre-season plans.

Patxi Gómez
The pick of the bunch, Patxi Gómez is a player I am very much looking forward to coaching. The Spanish 17 year old made his first team debut last season but featured heavily for Sevilla C. It was there where the youngster started with 12 goals, 4 assists and 7 player of the match awards coming in 21 games. The attacking midfielder is another player who will feature in Pre-Season.


As seen at FC Cincinnati, the backroom team that partners me plays a massive role in any success. The team here is strong, however there is a lot of room to improve and that will be my aim across the next couple of weeks Before the start of pre-season.

As mentioned before, the facilities at Sevilla are something I could have only dreamed of at Cincy. The stadium is 45,250 seater, which last season averaged an attendance of 42,420, making us the third highest by average capacity. The training facilities are excellent whilst the youth facilities are currently considered to be of great standard. Hopefully in the years to come we can improve these further.


The finances are a slight concern currently, the club currently sit in the red at -€11,258,283, however, I feel confident in making a majority of that money back in transfer sales whilst restricting the budget helping us to increase profits over the next few years. The budgets are currently sitting at approximately €9,000,000 in transfer budget with €250,000 on wages.


Chris:The squad looks good. Only issue is how old it is, quite a few in their 30s
Scott:Got to keep you on your toes!
An aging squad, will certainly need some major restructuring to last the tests of time! Paul King, however, is undoubtedly the man for the job!
The squad is getting on a fair bit, but King seems to have a plan in place. The sales can be reinvested back into younger talent in order to rejuvenate in certain areas. I'm a huge fan of Roque Mesa so I'm delighted to see him as part of this Sevilla squad and working under Paul. The striking department looks excellent with Dabbur and Ben Yedder. Navas, Promes and Sarabia - what a trio!

Congratulations on winning Story of the Month, too!

King Welcomes New Backroom Staff

New assistant manager, Alfonso

Paul King has welcomed twelve new members of staff to both his first team and under 19s backroom staff, including former Spanish striker Alfonso Pérez Muñoz as his new assistant manager.

Following the departures of former assistant manager, Jordi Guerrero, former Director of Football, Joaquín Caparrós and former scout, Fermín Galeote, a number of new arrivals has joined, new manager Paul Kings backroom staff.

Former Real Madrid and Barcelona striker, Alfonso Pérez Muñoz, commonly known as Alfonso, has joined Paul King as his new assistant manager. Alfonso has been involved with RCD Mallorca in numerous roles, whilst also being an assistant for Greek second tier side PAS Giannina, since his retirement in 2004. The former Spanish international made 38 appearances for the national side, scoring 11 goals and he will join the club with immediate effect.

Alongside Alfonso, former staff members under Paul King’s reign at FC Cincinnati, Bixente Lizarazu, Robbie Fowler and Tony Colbert have all joined up with King once again. Bixente Lizarazu was one of the first members of Paul Kings staff to join in a major revamp that occured before Cincinnati’s debut MLS season in 2019. A former French international, he is a man with a lot of trust from King with the two men sharing a friendship.

Also joining from Paul Kings former club is former England striker Robbie Fowler and former Arsenal fitness coach, Tony Colbert. Both members joined FC Cincinnati in 2019 before the 2020 season and have only spent six months in their roles there. However, the idea of continuing their roles under Paul King whilst working at Sevilla was too tempting to turn down.

Also joining the coaching department under Paul King, is former long time serving Olympique Lyon goalkeeper, Grégory Coupet. The now 47 year old played 34 games for France and since retiring at PSG in 2011, he has been a goalkeeping coach back at his former side. He will now join up with the team as our goalkeeping coach looking to help develop the goalkeepers within the first team squad.

Our medical team has also seen a major revamp with no less than six members joining the department across the first team and under 19s squads. The new members will ensure any injured players are returned to full fitness in as quick a time as possible.

The final member to join the staff, is new Under 19s manager, Gustavo Díaz. The Uruguayan had a long playing career, including a period in Spain playing for Real Valladolid and since retiring has managed eleven clubs including Nacional, Uruguay's most successful club. He will join the club in order to develop the ever increasing number of youth prospects joining the club.

Just a quick thank you to everyone who has read up to this point in the story and to anyone who voted for me in Story of the Month. I am very thankful to have won my first SotM and hopefully I can continue to impress with this story and any that I write in the future. Once again Thank you!


Justice:The squad is getting on in age for sure and something that needs to be addressed soon, hopefully King does a good job of that!
Scott:As old as the squad is, I was very pleased to see the three youth players listed in the update as well as a few others. They all look like they have tons of potential and I hope they develop nicely. All of them will be getting game time in Pre-Season and I believe they could form a strong core for the coming years.

Mesa will be key in that midfield in my opinion. Himself and Banega should be a quality pairing for a few years still. The strikers are certainly a strong part of this team and those three wingers will also help pile on the goals!

Thank you mate!
Every successful manager requires a hard-working team to help them! Bringing in some familiar faces alongside some fresh ones makes a lot of sense. The relationship built between those at Cincinnati and King will be helpful as he seeks to implement a new style here at Sevilla.

King Makes First Sevilla Move

Leftback Toni Lato has completed a €975,000 move from Valencia to Paul King’s Sevilla following his transfer listing at Valencia.

Sevilla’s newest manager Paul King, has made his first signing at the club, bringing Toni Lato,22, to the club. Lato a highly rated young left-back was surplus to requirements at Valencia and Sevilla beat out a number of clubs to secure his signature.

Lato was clearly delighted with the move saying “Leaving Valencia, the club I have been with since I was a young boy, is obviously upsetting. But this move allows me to join a massive club who have a project in place. They have recently hired a young and ambitious manager and I am very much looking forward to working and learning under him. Pre-Season starts tomorrow and I can’t wait to have the opportunities to show off my talent and skill.”

Toni Lato came through the age groups at Valencia making his Valencia Mestalla debut at the age of 16. Having impressed in the youth sides, Lato became a highly rated prospect throughout Spanish football. He then made his full Valencia debut in 2016, aged 19.

The Spanish left-back who has played at every level of youth national team level, continued to push for the first team spot on a consistent basis but was unsuccessful. With José Luis Gayà, another highly rated talent, further cementing his spot as the sides number one left-back Lato was sent out on loan to CD Leganés.

Playing in 17 games, 16 being starts, Lato impressed, creating four assists in his games and helping CD Leganés to a mid-table finish. But his performances weren’t enough and Valencia transfer listed the 22 year old at the beginning of the summer.

With Sevilla short on the left hand side with just Sergio Escudero, who is currently linked with a move to Inter Milan, being a natural left-back, Paul King and his side pounced. A straight fee of €975,000 was agreed upon and Toni Lato will join up with Sevilla’s Pre-Season preparations which begin tomorrow.

Paul King commented on the transfer briefly stating “It is a great move for the club. Toni (Lato) is a young guy with a lot of talent already. His potential is sky high and I believe that we will be able to get the absolute best out of him. He will bring some much needed youth and provide a real boost of energy to this team competing with Sergio (Escudero) for that first XI spot.”

Lato’s arrival comes following Luis Muriel’s departure five days ago. The Columbian striker, who has scored just 16 goals in the last four years, was transfer listed by King following his arrival. With Muriel not being a player seemingly in King’s plans, he moves to England to join Burnley for a fee of €15,000,000. The move sees Sevilla make a total loss of €5,000,000 on the striker but having scored just nine goals in 38 league games, Sevilla were willing to cut their losses.

It is believed that Sevilla have accepted offers for three of their players over the last few days with Danny Simpson, Carlos Fernández and the clubs top scorer last season Munas Dabbur having fees agreed. Reading have reportedly had a fee in the region of €400,000 accepted for right back Danny Simpson. Whilst offers from Real Sociedad for €7,500,000 and an offer of €20,000,000 rising to €32,000,000 from Lazio, for Carlos Fernández and Munas Dabbur respectively have been accepted.

The move sees Paul Kings aims to shape the squad in his mould with reports suggesting they are close to finalising the transfer of Real Madrid centre-back Jesús Vallejo. The former Real Zaragoza player, signed for Madrid in 2015 aged 18 but has so far failed to live up to expectations.

With Paul King taking charge of his first pre-season session tomorrow, he will be looking at his latest signing, Toni Lato, with the young left-back aiming to prove his worth.


Scott:They are great coaches and someone King already knows well which really helps the transition. The fresh faces will only help to improve Kings ideas.
Great signing for such a cheap fee. He will be a sufficient option on the left-side, at the very minimum. I think King has done well recouping the majority of the fee paid for Muriel given his lack of goals. Thankfully the Premier League clubs are able to splash the money rather generously. Huge fee for Dabbur, I can understand why King may have accepted such an inflated fee!

Sevilla Fail To Make Oviedo Pay

Wissam Ben Yedder rues missed chances in 0-0 draw

Sevilla played out a 0-0 draw against Real Oviedo in their opening pre-season friendly having dominated possession and attempts on goal.

In Paul Kings first game as Sevilla manager, he has seen his side draw in a goalless tie against second tier side, Real Oviedo. The game saw Sevilla dominate from start to finish, ending the game with 66% possession and 12 shots to Oviedo’s 0. However, a lack of composure in front of goal saw only two of the 12 shots on target and saw no goals scored.

The game was a frustrating affair for Kings side as Oviedo implemented a highly defensive formation spending a majority of the game with 10 players behind the ball. However, Paul King wasn’t ready to use that as an excuse in his post match comments.

“We should of been able to open them up more. We are much better than what we showed today and the creativity of this side should've seen us work better attempts. But for the first game of the pre-season, I am satisfied with the game as a whole. We kept the ball excellently and the youngsters that came in throughout the game held their own and showed they have some true quality.”

Patxi Gómez, Aimar Jiménez and Antonio Zarzana, players King had called up from the youth squads at Sevilla to join the pre-season preparations, all featured in the game. The three players aged 17 (Patxi Gómez and Aimar Jiménez) and 18 (Antonio Zarzana) all received 30 minutes of game time in the game and clearly impressed Paul King.

“The three of them are talents that everyone at the club were talking about when I came in a month ago. I took a look at the footage and I really liked what I saw, so the three of them and Cristóbal Iglesias were called into the first team for the pre-season. Cristóbal (Iglesias) had just came back from Spanish under 20s football and that's why he didn’t feature. But the three that did showed some real quality at times and I am looking forward to seeing even more of them in the coming weeks.” stated King.

Also making their club debuts, were Toni Lato, a recent arrival from Valencia and Jesús Vallejo. Both men, Spanish Under 21 internationals, came off the bench and played 45 minutes, but had very little to do as Sevilla dominated proceedings.

Danny Simpson was left out of the squad as he looks to complete a move, with three offers accepted for approximately €350,000. Also left behind was last season's top scorer Munas Dabbur, with reports continuing to suggest himself and Paul King have had a falling out surrounding a new contract. With a deal supposedly agreed with the Spanish club and Lazio, Dabbur reportedly turned down a contract with the Italian club, expecting to be paid a lot more than was offered.

Sevilla will now move on to a pre-season tour of China where they will play Shanghai Shenxin, Beijing Renhe and Shijiazhuang Ever Bright. The tour will then be followed by a home match against Italian side Atalanta, a trip to UD Almería before welcoming affiliate side Xerez CD in their final warm up game.

King will then start the season with two fixtures he would look to be winning as his side face promoted CA Osasuna and Rayo Vallecano, who finished 17th last season. Both games are very winnable for Sevilla before they welcome Real Sociedad in their first real test of the season.


Scott:Lato was a bargain King couldn't let go. Left-back was a position that needed filling and for such a quality player for such a cheap fee it was a no-brainer. Muriel is a good player but his lack of goals was a worry so Sevilla cut their losses. A shame Dabbur rejected the offer as the funds would of been huge for the club.
Can't read into friendlies too much. Vallejo is a great signing! Shame to see Dabbur rejected a move in favour of a pay-cheque... :/
Some well-known names added to your backroom staff, and Lato looks a bargain to come in to the squad for such a fee. He'll prove to be a decent asset to the club.

Pre-season results aren't overly important. Getting the team gelled together and up to speed with the pace of football will be the most important objectives.

Sevilla FC Announce Two New Signings

Sevilla have announced the double signings of Jorge Meré and Marko Grujić for a combined fee of €14,500,000.

Paul King has added his third and fourth new members to his team following the arrivals of Toni Lato and Jesús Vallejo earlier in the summer. Jorge Meré and Marko Grujić join the club for €8,500,000 (rising to €11,000,000) and €6,000,000 (rising to €8,000,000) respectively.

Spanish center-back Jorge Meré joins the club from FC Köln, a German side currently playing in 2. Bundesliga having suffered relegation last season. Meré joined his hometown side, Real Oviedo as a boy but later moved on to Real Sporting de Gijón, the team he supported growing up, at the age of 13. Three years later the young center-back made his first appearance for the reserve side, Real Sporting de Gijón B and having spent two years in the reserves, he was given his full first team debut aged 18.

With two seasons in the first team, Jorge also captained the Spanish Under 21s and began to attract attention from across Europe. Fighting of interest from English Premiership side Newcastle United, FC Köln won the race to Meré’s signature. The German side spent €7,000,000 which was rapidly repaid. He formed a solid partnership with former Juventus player Frederik Sørensen, being a key player for the Germans over three seasons.

However, following a second relegation in three years, Jorge decided it was time to move on as he joins Sevilla for €8,500,000. He joins the club as the second center-back to join the club this summer, following the arrival of Jesús Vallejo. With both youngsters having played together at Under 21s level, Meré is excited to be playing alongside his friend once again.

“I am very excited to be back playing football in Spain, it is where my family are and I love it here. I can’t wait to get to playing games for Sevilla, a very big team in the country and I am pleased to be able to say I am a Sevilla player.

My friend Jesús Vallejo signed with the club earlier this summer and he has already told me that it is a very enjoyable place to be. I look forward to playing alongside him once again as we played with the Spanish under 21s together. It is going to be a great season and I just want to get going now.” commented Jorge Meré.

Also joining the squad, for a fee of €6,000,000 is central midfielder Marko Grujić, from English Premier League champions, Liverpool. Grujić, who spent his youth career at the famous Red Star Belgrade academy, joined Liverpool in 2016. He was loaned back to the club where he had previously impressed, ending his time with the club with a total of 41 appearances and six goals. Before signing for Liverpool, the likes of Chelsea, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Juventus were all interested in the young midfielder, but he decided to join Liverpool.

In his debut season with Liverpool, Marko featured in five games, and a further three the following season before moving on loan to Championship side, Cardiff. He played in 14 games in all competitions for the Welsh club, proving a valuable player for the club as they were promoted to the Premier League.

The Serbian international was then moved on loan again, this time to Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin. The midfielder impressed in Germany, scoring once and assisting three times in his 24 league appearances. Marko spent the majority of last season in the Liverpool under 23s making just three senior appearances throughout the season and was seen as surplus to requirements for the merseyside team.

King moved once again to sign the 24 year old with a bid of €6,000,000, potentially rising to €8,000,000 being accepted. Like Jorge Meré, Marko is keen to get started at his new club.

“I am happy to have signed for Sevilla and I look forward to playing a big role here. I have been moved around a lot over the past few years, so I am excited to become a key player and staying in one place for the foreseeable future.

Sevilla is a club with a lot of history and I am proud to now be a part of it. We have a few weeks left until the season begins so I am working hard to get into shape and cement my place in the team.” stated Marko Grujić to the clubs website.

Paul King, who joined the club in June, has wasted no time in re-shaping his team and he was clearly pleased with the two new arrivals.

“Both of these boys add quality and strength in depth to us. Jorge (Meré) is a great defender and someone that has been making a name for himself over the past few years. Even in a side that was relegated last season, he proved his quality and rarely had a poor game. He will be very important to us this season and adds even further quality to our defense.

Marko (Grujić) is a player that had a lot of hype around him when he first joined Liverpool a few years back, and for good reason. He is a player with real quality and still a lot of potential. He is a real presence in the midfield, very tall and very strong, something we didn’t really have in this side before. I am very excited to see both of these lads join us and help us achieve our goals.” commented Paul King.

With the two new arrivals, Danny Simpson has left the club for Russian side FC Yenisey Krasnoyarsk for a fee of €350,000 potentially rising to €450,000. The English right-back joined the club on a free last season and played in 13 league games, however, he seemingly didn’t fit into Paul King’s plans and has now moved on.

Jorge Meré and Marko Grujić could make their competitive club debuts in Sevilla’s opening day clash against CA Osasuna on August 23rd 2020.


Scott:Dabbur seems very money hungry. Demanded a new contract from us and now rejecting a contract at Lazio! Not sure he is what you'd consider a team player!
Justice:Fitness and the gelling of the squad is certainly the most important thing, hopefully we see that coming in the next few games!
Two more marvelous signings. Meré is the perfect ball playing defender for your side and could turn out to play an important role for the club for a decade. Grujic adds plenty of quality to midfield. Physically robust and an expert passer and tackler, he could prove to be a very decisive player for you.
Some class signings there from Paul King it has to be said. Jorge Mere and Jesus Vallejo are two fantastic defenders and should form a great partnership. It'll be good to see them both fully develop their potential at the club and the same can be said for Toni Lato and Marko Grujic as all four have been tipped to have big futures for a long time now.

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