By Amir Mir
Roberto Di Matteo has praised the instant impact of Tony Xia and lauded the Chinese Tycoon’s ambitious plans for Aston Villa.
The Midlands club have signed nine new players this summer totalling £55 million, with 15 players leaving the club either on permanent deals or on loan.
Xia purchased the club from the much-criticised Randy Lerner in June for £75 million, with the Chinese businessman heavily backing manager Di Matteo in the summer transfer market.
The Italian spoke highly about his out-spoken owner, as the former Champions League winning boss has the task of guiding Villa to instant promotion back to the Premier League.
“He’s [Xia] been great. He’s been absolutely fantastic from day one,” said Di Matteo as quoted by the Birmingham Mail. “We knew that we needed to make some changes.
“He’s spent a lot of time here to be close to the dealings in the transfer market which has helped us tremendously. He is very ambitious and has great plans for the club and it’s very much welcomed.”
Villa broke the Championship transfer record on two occasions with the signings of Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia.
The Birmingham Mail report that Di Matteo beat their Championship rivals to the signature of the highly-rated strikers, whose transfer fees could eventually rise to a combined £27 million.
But, Di Matteo was pleased with his signings during the summer, despite a few late dealings for the Championship side.
“I think we operated very, very good on the market, I have to say,” said Di Matteo. We bought the players that we wanted very early. Some of these players that have just come in weren’t available at the time.
“You just couldn’t get them at the beginning of pre-season so you need to be patient but also have other targets because you are never sure that they will come until they’ve signed for your club.
“I’m very happy with the players that we’ve brought in and for the team to be functioning nicely with the other players that are here. That is very important to me.”
Villa have had a mixed start to the season losing two, winning one and drawing two games this term as they sit in 16th place in the Championship.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, Xia reveals on Twitter that the club have landed a new senior-man.