Smith insists Villa spending an absolute necessity

Aston Villa

Dean Smith has moved to play down Aston Villa's spending following promotion and insists it was an absolute necessity for the club.

Smith of course landed his dream job when he was appointed in charge of his boyhood club in October 2018, with Villa languishing in 14th place in the Championship table.

Although he struggled to turn Villa’s fortunes around initially, that was largely due to Jack Grealish being sidelined, and once his talisman was back in the line-up and given the captaincy, Smith broke a club-record winning streak to get his side very much in the play-off picture.

Villa ultimately beat West Brom and Derby to earn promotion back to the Premier League, with the owners sanctioning a vast summer spending spree to try and secure their status in the top flight this term.

That may still work out but the West Midlands giants face a battle to avoid relegation as they currently lie in 19th place in the table, two points adrift of safety, albeit with two games in hand, one of which is against Leicester on Monday night.

In theory their Premier League destiny remains in their own hands, but should the worst happen, critics will be out in force over their recent spending in the region of £140million, with the likes of Wesley, Tyrone Mings, Douglas Luiz and Matt Targett, all brought in to bolster the ranks.

When considering net spend, Villa are worse off than big spenders Manchester United, Inter Milan, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but Smith insists that the club simply had to splash the cash to try and be competitive.

“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,” Smith said.

“It was not a risk because it is what we had to do.”

Villa travel to Leicester on Monday on the back of four straight losses since beating the Foxes 2-1 in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final.

John McGinn is nearing a comeback but the clash against Brendan Rodgers’ Champions League chasers comes too soon, while Orjan Nyland could well be preferred to Pepe Reina in goal once again, having impressed against Manchester City at Wembley.