Dean Smith insists Aston Villa had 'no choice' but to buy rookies for Premier League return

Dean Smith has defended Villa’s summer recruitment insisting the club had no option but to mainly target Premier League rookies.

Marvelous Nakamba (left) is one of several summer signings who have struggled for consistency.
Marvelous Nakamba (left) is one of several summer signings who have struggled for consistency.

The boss has admitted his team’s inconsistency this season has in part been down to the inexperience of a squad the bulk of which was assembled after winning promotion back to the top flight last May.

Villa spent £132million in fees on 13 new players, of which only three had previously played in the Premier League.

But when asked if that policy was something of a risk, with Villa sitting 19th in the table ahead of tonight’s trip to Leicester, Smith claimed the club had little other choice.

He said: “It was not a risk because it is what we had to do. People can talk about risk because we brought in a number of players but we had to, otherwise we wouldn’t have had a squad.

“We would have had to pay £30m-plus for Premier League experience and it is a vicious circle.

“If you want to go and get Premier League experience as a newly-promoted team, with a short period in which to get these players in which we had after winning the play-offs, you just get priced out of the game.

“We did what we had to do. We knew we were signing a lot of players with potential. There was no other way to do it.”

Villa, who were planning a rebuild whether promotion was won or not, have always been keen to point out their total spend averaged out at little more than £10million per player, which is not huge by Premier League standards.

Efforts to add more top flight experience to the squad were, meanwhile, made with the January acquisitions of Pepe Reina, Danny Drinkwater and Borja Baston.

Tonight’s game at the King Power Stadium is Villa’s first since their Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City and Smith hopes his team can add to their tally of just eight points on the road this term.

“Unfortunately our performances which have not been good enough have usually been on the road,” he said.

“You come up against good teams in this league every week and it is hard to get that consistency.

“But I can see a lot more belief in the players, especially after that final against Man City.

“How Marvelous Nakamba got a caution for that second half challenge on Sergio Aguero I will never know. That is what we need to see from the players - that application and commitment to the cause.”

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