Former Premier League midfielder Rob Lee has offered high praise for Aston Villa boss Dean Smith and the way he and the club handled their transfer business this season.
After the season that they had last campaign, in which they stayed up by the skin of their teeth on the final day of the season, it was always going to be important for them to make the right adjustments to avoid going through the same process again.
He said: “They were smart signings. They bought players that I think had a good chance of doing well in the Premier League. Matty Cash, did well in the Championship for a long time. I think they spent wisely. They paid over the odds for a few players, but are reaping the rewards.
“Ollie Watkins, 30-odd million, but you know he’s strong, quick and will score goals, so let’s take a chance on him. They are players that are very good Championship players that want to prove they can be in the Premier League, or players that have been in the Premier League and we know they’re not going to fail in the Premier League.”
Do you think Barkley will stay at Villa beyond his current deal?
Lee’s comments highlight something important about the club and their ambition; the fact that they are willing to pay over the odds to make deals happen shows a great level of ambition and desire. If they have a target in mind, they don’t mind paying that little bit extra in order to take that next step up in the world.
That’s something that may come in use for them this year if they intend to take another step forward and hopefully become serious challengers for European football next term.