By Gabriel Agbonlahor

12th Feb, 2021 | 7:00am

Agbonlahor hails Edens & Sawiris after new Aston Villa hire

Gabriel Agbonlahor has heaped praise on the Aston Villa owners after the appointment of Frederick Leth as the club’s new head of football research.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer claimed the appointment shows Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens want to take the club to the next level.

Training Ground Guru reported last week Leth had followed sporting director Johan Lange from FC Copenhagen to Villa Park.

Head of football research is a newly created role at the club and is rare in the Premier League with only Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United having similar positions.

Lange made the switch from Denmark last summer to replace the departing Jesus Garcia Pitarch and has overseen Villa’s incredible turnaround with some brilliant recruitment.

The Midlands giants added Emiliano Martinez, Matty Cash, Bertrand Traore, Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins in the summer and the quintet have all been mainstays in Dean Smith’s side.

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“Everything about the club now is positive,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“They’re trying to bring in new people to do different things just to help the whole structure of the club.

“It’s a good sign and it shows the owners want to invest and take the club on.”

After avoiding relegation from the Premier League on the final day of last season on goal difference, Villa have been one of the surprise packages this term.

Smith’s side currently sit in ninth position, just five points off the Champions League places with two games in hand over Liverpool who are in fourth spot.

In other news, Paul Robinson has been left in awe of an Aston Villa star who Mikel Arteta targeted.