Table of Contents Hide
UNAI EMERY has masterminded Villarreal to the semi-finals of the Champions League for just the second time in their history.
Emery has had the help of five former Premier League stars in Villarreal’s run to the Champions League semi-finalsCredit: Getty
Former Arsenal man Francis Coquelin is one of a heavy former Prem contingent at the clubCredit: Getty
Now they are just two games away from lifting Europe’s most prestigious trophy for the first ever time.
SunSport take a look at five players who failed to live up to expectations in the Prem, more specifically north London, but could soon have a Champions League winners medal around their necks.
Serge Aurier – Tottenham
A controversial figure at Tottenham, Aurier was never too far away from a moment of madness.
Spurs tried to sell the right-back last summer, but when that failed terminated his contract entirely.
The 29-year-old linked up with Villarreal in October, and has since played 27 times, after making 110 appearances in four years at Spurs.
Aurier joined Villarreal in October as a free agent after having his Tottenham contract ripped upCredit: AFP
Francis Coquelin – Arsenal
Despite racking up 160 appearances across 10 years at Arsenal, Coquelin never really lived up to expectation after joining the Gunners’ academy aged 17.
He initially left in 2018 for Valencia, before joining Villarreal two years later.
And apart from a two-month spell on the sidelines with an achilles injury, the 30-year-old has been a regular in Emery’s midfield this season.
Etienne Capoue – Tottenham and Watford
Capoue has been sensational for Villarreal this campaign, playing in all 10 Champions League games and contributing two goals and two assists.
The 33-year-old spent a successful six years at Watford, playing 181 times for the Hornets.
Before that the midfielder spent two seasons at Spurs, but could never really break into the team – playing just 36 times for the club.
Capoue has started all 10 of Villarreal’s Champions League games this campaignCredit: Getty
Juan Foyth – Tottenham
Argentinian defender Foyth arrived at Spurs in 2017 with plenty of promise.
But he never made the transition from talented youngster to established first teamer, and after initially being loaned to Villarreal made the move permanent last summer.
Foyth played just 32 times for Spurs, mainly in cup competitions, but has 63 Villarreal appearances to his name in less than two seasons.
Foyth showed promise, but never nailed down a starting spot at SpursCredit: Getty
Giovani Lo Celso – Tottenham
Unlike the other four Prem flops, Lo Celso is only at Villarreal on loan.
The midfielder spent two seasons with Spurs after joining them in 2019 from Real Betis following a successful loan stint in North London.
He headed back to LaLiga in January after falling out of favour at Spurs, and has played nine times in all competitions since then.
Emery’s side also have the option to make the move permanent upon the expiry of Lo Celso’s.
Villarreal have the option to make Lo Celso’s loan move permanent this summerCredit: Getty