Aston Villa boss Unai Emery could guide his side in to Europe as early as this season, Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor told GIVEMESPORT.
Emery has enjoyed a stellar start to life in charge of Villa, with the continental positions now firmly in their sights.
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As low as 17th before his arrival in the West Midlands, Emery arrived at Villa Park with the club trapped in the midst of a relegation battle.
Replacing the departing Steven Gerrard, the ex-Villarreal chief joined after the Villa hierarchy splashed out on a €6 million (£5.25 million) clause to bring him to the club (The Guardian).
So far it is a decision that has been justified, as the Spaniard’s methods have transformed Villa’s fortunes, with the one-time European champions now chasing continental football.
An unthinkable position before Emery joined the club, Villa will now be keen to end the season on a high and bring European football to Villa Park for the first time in over a decade.
Villa’s last foray into Europe came back in 2011 and now as the continental positions appear within touching distance, the Villains’ faithful will be dreaming of more European adventures next season.
What has Ryan Taylor said about Aston Villa’s European chances?
When quizzed on what effect Emery has had at Villa, Daily Express journalist Taylor admitted he has been impressed by the 51-year-old’s impact.
On Emery and Villa’s recent form, Taylor told GIVEMESPORT: “The performance against Chelsea, it wasn’t particularly one where you look at Aston Villa and think ‘oh my god they are unbelievable’, but they just looked so comfortable.
“It reminded me of what Newcastle have done this season, suddenly there’s no gulf between the big sides and they can see out games now.
“Chelsea had chances to score, but I never felt like Villa were going to lose.
“And actually, I had a bet on them to win the game before the match because I felt like Villa were onto something.
“They’re probably better than Chelsea at the moment, so I think Europe is the ambition. But if they can kick on next season, Emery will look like an unbelievable appointment.”
What next for Emery and Villa?
Their unlikely hunt for European football continues tonight during a Midlands derby against strugglers Leicester City.
However, should recent form come into play, Villa could have a troublesome evening, as they’ve managed three points in just one of their previous 10 away trips to Leicester (Flashscore).
Following that, fixtures against Nottingham Forest, Fulham, Newcastle United, Brentford and Manchester United punctuate what looks like being a busy and decisive month for Emery’s side.