As revealed by GFFN, Monaco sporting director Paul Mitchell has held talks with Liverpool. Mitchell has already revealed that he will be leaving the principality club in the summer, and so Monaco are set to have a vacancy. Rather than go externally, they should look internally for his replacement. The club also owns Cercle Brugge, and it is in the Venice of the north that they can find their new sporting director.
Carlos Avina joined Cercle Brugge in September 2020 from Mexican giants CF America. Mitchell was involved in bringing Avina to Europe from Mexico, asking him to be in charge of the project in Belgium.
The 32-year-old has not been shy to make tough decisions at the green and black, despite criticism from the fans. His track record has proven that in each instance, the decision was the right one. Since joining, he has gone through three managers before landing on the current head coach in Miron Muslic. Changes have been made based not just on performances, but also on style of play. There is a clear footballing DNA that dictates decision making at the club. Data is used, but not in a way that it becomes the most important factor in decision making. The club now has a clear identity as a young team that play pressing football, marrying up players who suit the style with coaches willing to implement it.
Avina has overseen a number of transfer windows, and it appears that the club has been able to put together a squad that is balanced and has depth. The likes of Jesper Daland, Kevin Denkey, Abu Francis and Ayase Ueda have all been signed by Avina and are the leading players for the side this season. Such has been the strength of their transfer business over the past few seasons that the club did not feel the need to make any signings in the winter window.
The club is providing a springboard for young players to impress. For example, Rabbi Matondo was able to bounce back from years of disappointment in the Championship while at Cercle Brugge, while Monaco’s Polish goalkeeper Radoslaw Majecki has been given a chance to gain regular first team football. Matondo has since moved on to Rangers, while Majecki looks to have a bright future ahead of him even if that is not at Monaco.
Whether or not Avina wants to go to Monaco is something that has not been revealed. However, the club should certainly offer him the chance to succeed Mitchell in the role. His time at Cercle Brugge has shown that he has what it takes to bring success to the principality. Losing Avina would be a huge blow for Cercle Brugge, but hopefully his passion for the club would mean that a successor would be able to continue the work he has done.