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'The most vital signature of all' - McNulty

Unai Emery
[Getty Images]

Aston Villa undoubtedly want to bolster their squad this summer after the superb achievement of reaching the Champions League – but the news that manager Unai Emery has agreed a new five-year contract is the most vital signature of all.

Emery extended his currently deal until 2027 in April but this was always with the intention of a longer-term extension once the season finished. Villa have wasted no time in tying up their inspirational manager for the future.

The Spaniard has overseen a stunning rejuvenation of Villa since succeeding sacked Steven Gerrard in October 2022, first guiding them into the Europa Conference League at the end of that campaign before putting the 1982 European Cup winners back in the elite group with a fourth place finish in the Premier League.

Emery’s new contract is a sign of ambition from Villa’s owners but also an indication of the faith he has in them, in partnership with long-time cohort, president of football operations Monchi.

Villa’s followers would almost certainly have settled for a move one rung up the ladder to the Europa League at the start of the season just past, the fact Emery has taken them into the Champions League was beyond their most optimistic expectations.

Emery has put Villa ahead of schedule but there will be no complaints as they mix in with the Champions League big names for the first time. They will feel confident of making an impact under a manager with such pedigree in the European environment.

He has already assumed hero status at Villa Park and it will be a source of joy to everyone as the club that Emery has now signed up until 2029.

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[BBC]