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Paul King - Becoming Royalty

Started on 10 June 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 2 October 2019 by ScottT

Dabbur Joins Napoli

Sevilla’s top scorer in 2019/20 season, Munas Dabbur, has joined Italian side Napoli in a €30,000,000 move.

Israeli international, Munas Dabbur has finally departed the Spanish club having reportedly fallen out with new manager Paul King at the beginning of July. With King reportedly not seeing Dabbur as part of his plans, the Israeli was transfer listed and Napoli have agreed a deal costing the Italian side €30,000,000.

Dabbur began his career in his native Israel playing for Maccabi Ahi Nazareth and Israel's most successful side, Maccabi Tel Aviv. During his time in the country he played 71 league games and scored 22 goals. The young striker started to gain attention from other European clubs, with a move to Swiss side, Grasshopper Club Zürich, in 2014.

The €325,000 move, halfway through the season, was one of success from the get go, as Dabbur scored nine in his first 15 league games. This form continued, as Dabbur scored 13 (32 games) and 19 goals (35) in the following two seasons. Once again, offers came in for the Israeli, with Red Bull Salzburg spending €3,500,000 to make him a Salzburg player.

Dabbur had a tough start with the Austrian Champions, scoring just twice in his first 15 games. But a loan move back to Grasshopper Zürich, saw the Israeli find his form again, scoring 7 goals in 13 games. He bought that form back to Salzburg scoring an impressive 22 goals in 32 league games before a further 4 in 11 in his final half season with the club. During his impressive 2017/18 campaign, Dabbur also led his side to a Europa League semi-final, with 7 goals in 19 games. It was the clubs furthest progression in European competition, and once again the striker saw attention, this time from some of Europe's biggest clubs.

With supposed interest coming from English side Liverpool, Dabbur decided to join Sevilla, a club who just three seasons before had won their third consecutive Europa League. Dabbur was given a large number of minutes in his debut season at the club, starting in 24 league matches. Scoring ten goals in his 30 league appearances, Dabbur reportedly asked for an improved contract from new Sevilla manager Paul King.

With the request being denied, tensions between the pair is said to have risen and the relationship was broken before it could get started. This saw King place the striker on the transfer list with the player receiving interest from Lazio, Valencia and Napoli. It was Napoli who won the race for the 28 year olds signature, agreeing a reported €30,000,000 a profit of €15,000,000 from what Sevilla paid a year before.

The move sees Sevilla now short in options in the attacking role with just Wissam Ben Yedder and Munir, able to play as the striker. With Luis Muriel, Carlos Fernández and now Munas Dabbur being moved on since Kings arrival, it will be interesting to see if the American brings in another striker.

The club have also confirmed an arrival with Bolivian winger, Carlos Delgadillo signing for a fee of €400,000. The 18 year old has limited experience in the game having made his Guabirá debut, in Bolivia's top tier, last season. In his 20 league games, the winger scored five goals and assisted once, impressing scouts across the globe. Delgadillo is expected to be placed into the Sevilla Atlético side this season, with the chance to impress in Segunda Division B.

Sevilla have two friendlies remaining before they open their LaLiga season on August 23rd, facing Almería and Xerez before travelling to Osasuna in Kings competitive debut at Sevilla.


Justice: Both of them will really improve this side. Grujic adds something very different to us, as the majority of our midfielders, just like the rest of Spain, have shorter technical midfielders. I am very happy to add both of them for such a small fee.
Chris:Those two look to be the partnership for the future once Kajer is gone. All four will be very good additions to us and have tons of potential! I am happy with all of them who are joining!
I'm more than aware of Mere's ability, as you well know. He's an incredibly talented defender and I believe King has found himself an excellent defender for a bargain price. He's worth a lot more than that in my estimations and I think he'll find that out for himself soon enough. He will establish a great partnership with Vallejo - it's a pairing I could see lasting for some time and could form a real base for the future. Grujic is another tidy signing and someone who could prove to be a worthwhile asset at the very minimum.

Dabbur leaving makes a lot of sense given the revelations revealed in that article. A more than suitable fee has been recouped and that can be reinvested into the squad or on young talents such as Delgadillo. I'm intrigued to see a Bolivian star emerge, as the only player I'm familiar with - off the top of my head - from Bolivia is Marcelo Moreno. Hopefully he can develop under King's management.
Big money in for Dabbur. If he isn't part of your plans, may as well get as much money as you can for him. I'm sure King will sort out a striker soon enough.

Sevilla Announce Jović

Sevilla have announced the signing of 22 year old striker Luka Jović in a deal worth €20,000,000 potentially rising to €23,000,000 from Portuguese giants Benfica.

Following the departure of Munas Dubbar to Napoli last week, Sevilla have wasted no time in replacing the striker with highly rated Luka Jović. The Serbian has long been seen as a potential star of the future and at just 22 has attracted the attention of some of the largest clubs in the world including Spanish giants Real Madrid.

The Serbian striker was touted as one for the future from a young age, joining Red Star Belgrade’s youth setup aged 6. He rose quickly through the ranks at the club making his first team debut at just 16 years of age. It was in his debut where he scored his first goal as a professional. The youngster came off the bench and within two minutes scored the equalising goal which handed Red Star the league title.

From then on Jović cemented his place in the Red Star side making 22 appearances (scoring 6 goals) in the following year and a further 19 (scoring 5) the season after that. With the striker just turning 19 and already making 48 appearances for Red Star Belgrade in all competitions, Jović joined Portuguese giants Benfica for €6,500,000.

Jović found his game time limited at Benfica, with the team favouring Jonas. Featuring for Benfica B, Jović continued to impress and was sent out on loan to German side Frankfurt on a two year loan. Again the Serbian impressed, scoring 8 goals in 22 league games in his first season, before 6 in 28 in his second year. His form saw him receive his first callup to the Serbian national team making his debut in the summer of 2018.

With his development continuing, Benfica decided to give Jović more opportunities in the 2019/20 season, starting him in 11 league matches (4 games from the bench) scoring an impressive 7 league goals. A further three goals, taking his tally to ten goals in 19 games in all competitions, led to interest from Real Madrid, Juventus and Sevilla.

A deal worth €20,000,000, with bonuses potentially taking the fee to €23,000,000, has seen the 22 year old star join Sevilla in a deal that has turned a lot of heads. Paul King, who only joined the Spanish club at the end of June faced a large level of criticism for the sale of last season's top scorer Munas Dabbur, however, this deal seems to show the Americans intent of a younger squad, filled with talent.

“I am delighted to welcome Luka (Jović) to the club” King announced at Jović’s introductory press conference “He is an extremely talented young player who now has over 100 first team games under his belt across three countries. For his age, he is very experienced already and has shown he has a real eye for a goal. He is also a Serbian international playing over 15 games for them already and I am certain he will only continue to star for his country in the coming years. Luka (Jović) is a player who really shows the project we are aiming for here, young, hungry and talented players who are really going to take this club forward.” continued King.

The Serbian has signed a four year contract worth a reported €75,000 per week, with a release clause of €70,000,000. The deal shows that King has a lot of faith in the young striker and we can be sure to see Jović as a key player at Sevilla for years to come.

Jović could make his debut in Monday’s league opener for Sevilla as they face Osasuna in the televised matchup, which will also be Paul Kings first competitive match in charge.


Scott: I was surprised to be able to get Mere in for as little as we did, I think their relegation really dropped the price tag which you love to see. He's certainly an impressive player and I think him and Vallejo will be a solid pairing for the future.

Dabbur had to go unfortunately. I wasn't overly sold on him from the get go and when he came in asking for 100k a week I wasn't having it. Delgadillo is someone I am excited about, he looks like he could be a really good winger and considering we only had the two right wingers I think he is a great rotation option.

Justice:I think we have managed to replace him sufficiently and we still have money left over from the deal. Think it has worked out well for us!
Jovic is a signing and a half! Brilliant replacement for Dabbur at a mere 20m up front. Great stuff that is
Well that's the striker position sorted! Jovic is a predator in front of goal and should be able to score plenty for you!
Not a bad replacement, eh. ;)

Sitting Down With The Boss

Having joined the club in June, Paul King has finally had a moment to sit down and talk to us as we question the new boss.

Good Afternoon Paul, thank you for sitting down with us today and we can finally get to talking with you.

Afternoon, and yes it has been a very busy few months and a lot of hard work has gone into it, but it is good to finally get to talk with you.

It has been a very busy few months since you joined the club, indeed. What can you tell us about the first couple of months or so, where we saw a lot of new additions to the backroom staff?

One of the first things I learned as a coach is, having the right people around you plays a massive part in any success. That’s what I set out to do before anything else, getting the right backroom staff in with me. I think I certainly managed to do that. Bixente (Lizarazu), Robbie (Fowler) and Tony (Colbert) are all men I have worked with before and have formed strong relationships with all three already from our time in America. The others to also join, including Alfonso have come in and we have all got along very well already. We are a tight group as a backroom staff and I think we have a very good working relationship that will really benefit us in the long run.

With a lot of moves happening in the staffing department, you also made a number of deals in the transfer window, what were the thoughts behind the moves?

Yeah, again a lot of moves did happen, six arrivals and four leaving the club permanently with Joris (Gnagnon) going out on loan. We moved on some very talented players but I believe we had better quality players already at the club or we replaced them with better talents. The three Spanish lads we bought in have all been seen as real talents of the future for a few years now and are still all young and will bring true quality to this team for years to come. Toni’s (Lato) injury is a shame but he will be back in a few weeks time, Jesús (Vallejo) and Jorge (Meré) have both featured in Pre-Season and Jorge has started and impressed in the first two games so far.

Marko (Grujić) and Carlos (Delgadillo) are two more youngsters we have bought in and again Marko has been a starter in the first two games and was a real standout against Rayo Vallecano. Luka (Jović) was a massive signing for the club and a real bargain we feel and he showed his class with the winner against Osasuna.

You mention Luka (Jović) just how big of a signing is that for Sevilla?

Luka (Jović) is a great addition to this side. He brings a real eye for goal and when he spots an opportunity he is usually lethal. Luka is a player that the world has taken notice off for many years now, especially last season when he had an incredible return at Benfica. We believe we have pulled off an incredible deal for the young man.

He gave you an opening day win, then you followed that victory with a first home win. How do you rate your first two games as Sevilla boss?

We have started well. There is always a lot of change when a new manager comes in, both for the players, the staff and the fans. But I think everyone has adapted well. We had a strong pre-season not losing a game and we have taken that into the season. We still have a lot to work on and the boys will get used to the new system as time goes on. But from the first two games we can be happy and I am really looking forward to what we can achieve.

We have seen a number of youth graduates come into the team in pre-season and Cristóbal Iglesias has featured in a league game. Can we expect to see more youth graduates playing a role in the team this year?

100%. This club has an abundance of young talents coming through, the likes of Cristóbal (Iglesias) Patxi Gómez, Aimar Jiménez, Oscar and Carlos Delgadillo who are all in first team training at the moment and it is my duty to help make them stars. They have the potential and with the right attitude they can go far. Part of that development is playing at the highest level, obviously it is not realistic to start them week in week out yet, but when the time is right, expect to see them feature every now and again.

Whilst we are on the topic of young players, we have announced the signing of Egyptian goalkeeper Tarek Mansour. What are your thoughts on him and why have you bought him to the club?

Tarek (Mansour) is a player who has been causing talk in America for a while now, he played for Baltimore and Corpus Christi, two of the USL sides. He has impressed there and someone I had my eye on for when, well if he declared for the draft. So when I moved here, I had my scouts take a look and they agreed he is a talented young man. He has already made the Egypt goalkeeping spot his and has six caps at just 18, making a couple more this international break and I think that shows his quality. We are very excited to have him come in come January.

Finally, what are the long term goals for yourself during your time at Sevilla?

The short answer - Success. This club in recent history has won quite a few trophies with the three Europa Leagues in a row. But I want more. Firstly we need to be a dominant force in Spain, winning trophies and competing for LaLiga. We finished 6th last year so thats a start but I want us to be playing at the highest level, so a top four finish is the aim this year.

That will then give us the opportunity to play Champions League football. That will be the long term goal for sure. European glory at the highest level. The youngsters we have coming through are exciting and I am looking forward to this squad gelling and achieving our goals.

Well, thank you for your time Mr King and we look forward to further great results under your management.

Thank you!

With the International break coming to an end, we are back in action against Real Sociedad on Sunday before an away trip to Ukraine to face Desna Chernihiv in our Europa League opener.


BigMaguire&Justice&Scott: He is an incredible player that I was surprised we signed so easily! He's already scored on debut hopefully that continues!
Aiming high is important. Ambition is key to becoming successful. At the same time, aims have to remain feasible. I feel King has the perfect balance.

Jovic Snatches Late European Victory

Sevilla Celebrate late victory

A 94th minute Luka Jović strike stole all three points in a 3-2 victory over Desna Chernihiv in Paul Kings debut Europa League match.

Having gone behind twice, Sevilla managed to come back with two late goals to secure victory in their opening Europa League fixture. In Paul Kings first ever European competition, Sevilla got off to a horrendous start conceding in just the sixth minute.

With a corner played in, Eugene Shakov’s header came off the knee of Jesús Navas, seeing the ball roll into the Sevilla net. It was the second time Sevilla had been behind in a game that week as they came from behind to defeat Real Sociedad on Sunday winning 2-1.

Wissam Ben Yedder, who received his first competitive start under Paul King, following the arrival of Luka Jović in the summer, equalised in the 16th minute. The French capped International was forced to equalise a second time in the game in the 74th minute as Shakov managed to see the ball into the net without a deflection on the stroke of halftime.

As the game moved into the last seconds, the result looked headed for a draw, only for summer signing Luka Jović to score the 94th minute winner. With a move being made down the left hand side by Sevilla, Shakov, who had an action packed game, intercepted a pass on the edge of the box. Turning to play it back to his goalkeeper, the Ukraine International made a costly error, not seeing Jović who pounced on a mistimed back pass. The Serbian striker took the ball in his stride and powered home a strike fizzing past the Desna keeper.

The Sevilla side, a much rotated team which featured four teenagers, were clearly delighted and with the final whistle blown, showed their excitement with their celebrations. But Paul King was quick to calm them down stating his views in his post-match interview.

“It is a great win, it always is when you come back twice and win it in the final seconds, but we need to ask ourselves why we were in that position in the first place. I am proud of the work rate and determination this team showed to come back, especially with the amount of youngsters we had involved today however, we won’t be getting ahead of ourselves and will be back and focused for our game on Sunday against Celta Vigo” stated King.

King has come under criticism for what is being called a ‘lack of respect’ towards both the Europa League and opponents Dena Chernihiv. King made a total of nine changes to his starting XI who had started the previous three competitive games for Sevilla. The changes included first starts for Jesús Vallejo, Carlos Delgadillo and youth graduate Cristóbal Iglesias whilst Patxi Gómez featured from the bench.

“Whoever suggests that we didn’t show our opponents respect, have no idea what they are talking about. The rotation was necessary, we have a busy schedule upcoming with some important games in that time. But the players who played today are a mix of highly talented youth prospects and experienced internationals. At the end of the day we won the game and I am proud of the boys that impacted the game.” responded King.

Also in Sevilla’s group, AS Saint-Étienne traveled to Sparta Praha, winning the fixture 2-0 away from home. The French side are expected to be Sevilla’s biggest test in the group with the two sides favourites to battle for the groups top spot. The two will however, only meet in gameweek three, as Sevilla will welcome Sparta Praha in the next gameweek.

Sevilla will however, play Celta Vigo, Espanyol and Getafe before their next Europa League matches. Paul Kings side will be looking to extend their 100% record with spirits said to be high around the club.


Scott: From Kings interview it seems he wants to make Sevilla his home and to bring a high level of success there. If that is all talk to please the fans is yet to be seen,
Jovic the hero ❤️❤️❤️❤️. Great result. Hopefully King can start games a bit better and then Sevilla could become a real force!
A win is a win, you'll certainly take that! Good to see Jovic doing the damage for you, he'll prove to be a real cult hero soon enough. Time to build on that and reach new heights!
A performance that showed great resilience, although it should have, perhaps, been a much more straight forward task. Rotation is sometimes necessary and while it can be mistaken for disrespecting the competition, King is well within his rights to make changes if he sees fit. That team was superior enough to get the job done at the end of the day.

Sevilla Suffer First Defeat Under King

Ousmane Dembélé’s 14th minute strike was enough to separate Sevilla and Barcelona as Paul King suffers his first defeat as Sevilla boss.

With Unai Emery returning to his former side, Sevilla, he has seen his side defeat a side who had previously gone nine games unbeaten this season. Luka Jović had a massive opportunity to put his side ahead just four minutes in. Pablo Sarabia sent a corner towards the six yard box, met by Jović, the Serbian should of done much better putting his header over the bar.

His miss proved to be fatal, as just ten minutes later, Dembélé received a corner on the edge of the box from Jordi Alba. The French international who was signed for at the time a world record fee in 2017, took the ball forward before slamming it past Sevilla keeper Tomas Vaclik.

Dembélé has continued to impress this season and has seen interest from English side Tottenham Hotspur. Having scored nine goals in six league games last season, the 23 year old winger had multiple bids rejected in the summer, but reports suggest improved bids will be made in the winter window.

The game was one of frustration for King’s side as he saw his side control the game throughout, ending the game with 55% possession. But the double pivot of Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal ensured their chances were limited.

“We just didn’t manage to create as many chances as we would have liked, unfortunately. They are a very impressive team as everyone knows. We limited their chances today as well but that front five, even without (Lionel) Messi, is still phenomenal and took their chance. But we can certainly take positives from this game, we controlled the game against one of the best in the league and never looked under pressure against that attack. Now it is about ensuring we control games consistently and take our chances.” said Paul King.

As mentioned in King’s post-match comments, Barcelona were without starman Lionel Messi, after he suffered a groin strain against Las Palmas. But manager Unai Emery was pleased with his sides performance without his captain.

“Lionel (Messi) is obviously one of if not the greatest to play the game so we aren’t as good a team without him. But my squad is full of talent, with the likes of Eden (Hazard), Phillipe (Coutinho), Ousmane (Dembélé) and Nabil (Fekir) all able to slot in there. We showed that quality today and managed to come away with an important win. I think Sevilla did well and it was great to see some familiar faces. I wish them well for the rest of the season.” commented Emery.

The loss was Kings first at Sevilla having gone nine games in all competitions without a loss which included seven wins. The loss doesn’t affect Sevilla’s league position though, as they stay in second place behind reigning champions Atlético Madrid. Madrid, who have dominated LaLiga over the past two seasons, have continued that form with seven wins in seven so far this season and go six points clear of Sevilla.

Sevilla face Real Betis in two weeks time, as the league takes the second international break of the season. Betis led by William Carvalho currently sit in 8th place after a promising start to the season losing just twice, to Celta Vigo and Las Palmas, but Sevilla will be expected to inflict a third loss on them.

King will also be pleased to see his first choice left-backs Segio Escuerdo and Toni Lato, expected to return from injuries during the break. Escuerdo suffered fractured ribs just days before his sides 1-1 draw with Sparta Praha, whilst Toni Lato has been out of action for four weeks with Shin splints. Lato is expected to be back within two weeks time but his return to full fitness may be delayed slightly. The injuries have seen Javier Vázquez called up to the first team to cover at left-back.


BigMaguire: Jovic has started very brightly and we are impressed with what he has done so far, that is for sure!
Justice:As I said to BigMan, Jovic has started well but it is no less than expected. We need to build on this now and as you say, reach new heights!
Scott:Nine changes could of been too many in fairness and that would of certainly played a part in the less than convincing win. However, they got the job done in the end and that is very pleasing to see as a large majority of the team was youngsters! It looks like a bright future ahead.
Narrow result in Europe their but a decent enough start in the competition! Shame about the Barca defeat but their stranglehold will remain strong for another year or two I reckon. Although, with you picking up as many wins as you have done so far maybe you can push them sooner having had the experience of playing them, now you can maybe figure out a way to beat them.

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