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Have big-spending Aston Villa ‘done a Fulham’ with their recruitment? We are about to find out

As reported by Telegraph Sport on Tuesday evening, Villa will conduct a rigorous review of their transfer policy and scouting system when the season is over, with sporting director Jesús García Pitarch facing an uncertain future.

There is a determination to focus on long-term planning, and that will be further evident when Villa move into a new state-of-the-art performance centre in October.

Those facilities will be some of the best in the country, while the academy is already showing tangible signs of progress.

Yet the main debate this season continues to be first-team recruitment and whether it has worked out. 

Results and performances suggest it certainly has not. Over £135 million has been spent on players and perhaps the most pertinent question to ask is this: how many of those 15 signings are worth more now than when they arrived?

For most clubs outside the top-six, and certainly the other two promoted teams in Norwich and Sheffield United, that amount of transfer money is the stuff of dreams.

You could probably count the number of successes on one hand: Tyrone Mings, Tom Heaton and Douglas Luiz arguably stand out as pluses.

There are too many players who have underperformed, and have looked short of Premier League quality, with too much pressure on captain Jack Grealish to drag the club out of trouble. 

Pitarch, known as Suso, recommended the majority of the players signed from abroad and this is why he is seen as culpable in Villa’s struggles. The lack of experience for this unforgiving division has been damaging.


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