Date: 8th April 2021 at 7:10pm
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Former Aston midfielder Lee Hendrie believes Dean Smith needs £150m to spend this summer in order to continue the progress at Villa Park. 

Having narrowly avoided relegation last season, Smith has guided the Villans to the top half of the table this term with eight games remaining, still within a shot of European qualification.

This transformation has been helped in no small part by last summer’s squad additions of Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins, Traore and – totalling £74.12m (as per Transfermarkt).

Smith also added Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley on loan for the campaign and Morgan Sanson in January from Marseille, but Hendrie, a Villa stalwart, has told Football FanCast that the club will have to fund another transfer spree this summer if they are going to truly challenge once again:

“That’s what Dean’s going to have to do. He’s got to bring someone in, or two or three players in, whether it’s £150m he spends.

“If you’re going to certainly push for that Champions League spot or a European spot, you know, I think he’s got to spend around £150m.

“These days £150m is nothing, but I think Dean will be looking to bring three players maybe that certainly can push Villa forward and build them small steps because that isn’t an overnight process.”

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Villa’s improvement this season has been vast and rather unexpected the struggles of last term.

Smith, however, will be reticent to stand still over the summer and will almost certainly look to bolster his options to guard against a decline back down the table.

One name that has been linked with a remarkable switch to Villa Park is that of Brentford hotshot Ivan Toney, with the Championship’s top marksman perhaps ready to follow in the footsteps of Watkins and Smith himself.