With Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith now having had the chance to really work with a number of our summer captures as we continue preparations for our return to the Premier League in the campaign of 2019/20, with our mini tour and training camp of the US now behind us, he’s spoken about each of them.
It’s been a big old summer from Smith and Suso so far, and our gaffer has admitted that there should still be a few more signings to come before the transfer window slams shut, but when it came to our arrivals already, Smith certainly had some good praise for them as he spoke to the Official Site.
You can read his full words on the above link, I’ll just cherry-pick the most interesting comment as they stood out to me as he spoke about six of our arrivals.
“He’s got unlimited potential. He can go and do the lot. He’s been playing for the U21s but, in my opinion, if he keeps progressing he can go and play for England one day. That’s how highly I rate him.”
“There was a list of about five centre forwards. But I was really attracted to Wesley from the first moment I saw him play football. He has that hunger and desire that you see quite regularly in South American players. He has that panache as well – he scores all kinds of goals. He can score from outside the box. He can score two-yard tap-ins – he has the lot.”
“He has a great quality left-foot. He probably found himself playing second fiddle to Ryan Bertrand. Now he’s come to challenge Neil Taylor for that left-back spot. It will be a great challenge – and I want those challenges in every position.”
“Bjorn is one I’ve kept an eye on for probably 18 months. He’s a player I really like. He can adapt well. He’s a great age. His potential is that he will get better and develop – he has a hunger to develop too. He’s calm and assured on the ball. He reads the game really well.”
“That one was always in the pipeline. We did the groundwork on that. He’s Premier League quality. I believed that when I was at Brentford and I’m surprised he didn’t go to the Premier League then.”
“I’d obviously been to watch Freddie before – we’d tracked him. I went on an ill-fated day when he got sent off! But he stayed on loan there until the end of the season.”
Given the endless and lazy Fulham links from some in the media given our spending so far, Smith’s words about players being well scouted and on his radar for a while further disprove those claims as we aren’t panic buying on deadline day, they are getting the maximum amount of time possible to settle in and get used to his system.