By Alex McLeish

9th Oct, 2020 | 10:51am

Exclusive: McLeish reveals Smith jealousy after stunning Aston Villa overhaul

Alex McLeish has revealed a pang of jealously at how Dean Smith has been backed to the hilt in the transfer market by Aston Villa.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa manager highlighted the difference between the last two summer windows and the tight spending when he was in charge.

Villa spent around £125million in the summer of 2019 and followed up by splashing out around £75m in the recently-shut window.

This was in stark contrast to the restricted finances McLeish was faced with when he was in charge between June 2011 and May 2012.

Asked by Football Insider for his verdict on Smith, McLeish said: “You know how fickle it is in the Premier League, Frank De Boer lasted five games, others similar and that’s, it takes a wee bit of luck for owners to give the managers a chance and I think Dean’s a great up and coming manager.

“Well, he’s already proved himself – to get the Villa job you’re already established as a manager – but I believes that to get over that hurdle of possible relegation was massive for them.

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“They did spend a lot of money last year and this year, I wouldn’t have minded spending that kind of money myself when I was at Villa.

“But he made it and now because they’re still in the Premier League, because they’ve still got the access to the great funding from the satellite TV deals and the television and stuff
then he should be able to try and go a wee step further. That will be his goal.

“Listen, you can’t get right up there in two seasons unless you have a wondrous season, your recruitment has been flawless and you have a real birthday season.

“But I would imagine Dean is planning a kind of route of permanent Premier League team as Aston Villa probably believe they should be.”

In other news, three senior Aston Villa stars are set to leave in the coming days.