Dean Smith targets a younger Aston Villa after transfer meeting with chairman Nassef Sawiris

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Dean Smith is keen to give Villa’s squad a more youthful appearance after meeting with chairman Nassef Sawiris to discuss plans for the remainder of the transfer window.

Dean Smith.

Smith and majority shareholder Sawiris met together with chief executive Christian Purslow in London on Wednesday, with the club’s strategy for the rest of January top of the agenda.

Villa are eyeing a number of targets, while it is also possible some players could depart should the right offers be received.

The boss is keen to correct the balance of a squad still heavy in attack but light in defence. But bringing down its average age is also now a cornerstone of the club’s policy, both in the short and long-term.

“What we want to do is have competition for places and find a better balance for the squad,” explained Smith. “That will be position-wise but also age-wise.

“We are a fairly old squad in this league. With Jack (Grealish) and Axel (Tuanzebe) out injured at the moment, we probably need to look at that and balance it with a bit more youth.”

Goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic and defender Kortney Hause, who joined on loan from Wolves, are Villa’s two additions to date.

Smith continued: “There are an awful lot of plates spinning, as I’m guessing there will be with a lot of other clubs.

“January is not a great window, it’s a seller’s market and prices are at a premium. To go and get some bargains is very tough to do.


“We’ll keep our business private as we always do and hopefully some of the deals can materialise.”

While keen to strengthen, Smith is also wary of “stockpiling” on top of what is already a sizeable squad.

Asked if any senior players could depart this month, he replied: “Possibly, but you always need suitors.

“We will listen but we don’t particularly want to push anybody out because it is a quality squad.


“People who aren’t playing will get frustrated. We certainly don’t want to stockpile players. What players want to do is play football.

“If you are carrying too many numbers in the team and they are not playing, they can certainly become unsettled.”

Villa have recalled winger Andre Green from his loan spell at Portsmouth. The 20-year-old is the third player Smith has be brought back to the club this month.

“We have a big 19 games ahead of us and I think Andre can help us,” he said. “I feel we haven’t been making as much of an impact from the bench as I would like. He gives us that opportunity.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.


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