Dean Saunders launches extraordinary attack on Aston Villa, makes Lidl comparison
By Matt Farr
Ex-Aston Villa striker Dean Saunders has launched an extraordinary attack on his former club for lack of investment over the last five years – despite heavy activity in the last two two transfer windows.
Villa suffered defeat at the hands of Championship leaders Newcastle on Monday night, leaving them in a precarious position just six points clear of the relegation zone.
The pressure continues to grow on Aston Villa and manager Steve Bruce, with the club having failed to win a single game since their Boxing Day triumph over Burton Albion.
But speaking to TalkSport, Saunders believes that they have been the masters of their own demise through a lack of spending and investment over the last five or six years.
He stated that Aston Villa needed to start splashing the cash to rectify their miserable decline through the ranks, and start ‘shopping at Marks and Spencer instead of Lidl.’
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He said: “What’s happened is there’s been a lack of investment into the team over the period of about five or six years.
“You go back as far as James Milner and Gareth Barry leaving – they have never been replaced.
“Aston Villa have been shopping at Lidl when they should have been shopping at Marks and Spencer.”
Saunders attack is extraordinary as it comes after Bruce made wholesale changes to his first-team squad in January, signing as many as eight different players.
The Villa Park chief spent £12million on Brentford goalscorer Scott Hogan last month, meaning the club have spent an incredible £40million on strikers alone since their relegation from the Premier League last season.
Roberto Di Matteo spent £12million on Ross McCormack at the start of the season, and also purchased Jonathan Kodjia for a fee which could rise to £15million.
Villa’s total net spend in the summer alone was £30million and chairman Tony Xia will not appreciate being told that even more investment is needed.
However, a lot of Villa’s new signings haven’t worked out and Saunders’ Lidl comparison suggests that he thinks they haven’t been targeting the quality players the club needs.
Barry and Milner, for example, quit the club in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and despite the club having sifted through the likes of Fabian Delph, Idrissa Gueye, Henri Lansbury and Conor Hourihane in the years since, Saunders does not believe they have ever been replaced.
In other Aston Villa news, Ian Taylor has delivered his brutally honest verdict of Aston Villa following their defeat to Newcastle.