Hey guys (or ladies?!) this was coming up in the comments so I wanted to frame it as a question/debate.
We’ve all put lots of faith and thrown lots of love towards Monchi for his incredible work directing the team over the last ten years. But this offseason, there seemed a very clear turning point the moment that Sampaoli came on board. Monchi still had secured the signings of Kiyotake, Sarabia, and Ben Yedder (though I think BY was officially finalized after Sampaoli was signed). In my view, those guys have all performed pretty well (though we obviously are also having a debate about Kiyotake who seems on his way out, fairly or not).
But once Sampaoli came on there has been a clear preference for latin Americans and for Argentinians in particular. I consider Mercado, Kranevitter, Ganso, Mudo, Correa, and Vietto as “Sampaoli’s” signings. I’m leaving out Nasri, though am curious what you all think. He came after Sampaoli arrived but seemed like much more of a Monchi signing to me. Did I miscategorize other transfers here?
More broadly, I’m feeling (as always) anxious about what happens if/when Monchi leaves. None of us here can argue with the results that Sampaoli is putting together on the field (a CdR embarassment aside). We are having a spectacular season. But, in my view, it is a result of Sampaoli managing a great set of Monchi’s players, not the ones he has pushed the team to bring in….