By Michael Brown

5th Aug, 2020 | 8:30pm

'Incredible'- Exclusive: Pundit drops big Villa transfer claim after local paper update

Michael Brown believes Dean Smith will strengthen his Aston Villa squad this summer after keeping them in the Premier League. 

The former Premier League midfielder, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted the 49-year-old will go into next season with ‘”a bit of experience,” following Villa’s successful bid to avoid the drop.

The Villains picked up eight points from their remaining four matches to pip Bournemouth to the final survival spot and Brown suggested Smith’s side are a  “different Aston Villa now.”

“He’s done an incredible job since he took over,” Brown told Football Insider.

“The Premier League is very hard and he had a huge squad. He has spent a lot of money so the pressure was there but he got the job done.

“So now, they can decide which way they want to go and whether he is going to be the man for the future.

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“There was a huge turnaround, how he managed to get them in the play-offs with a late surge.

“It’s a different Aston Villa now. He’ll go into next season with a bit of experience and he’ll strengthen again, but it’s a tough one for them.

“They stayed up, that was his remit and as I’ve said he’s done a fantastic job at the football club.”

Having secured survival, Smith has been handed a further £100 million to spend this summer, according to The Sun.

BirminghamLive reported on Wednesday that the Midlands giants have asked about the availability of Celtic star Odsonne Edouard, but it is believed they face competition from a host of Premier League clubs for his services.

Edouard, 22, joined Celtic from PSG for £10million in 2018 and he’s bagged 40 goals in 48 league starts.

In other Aston Villa news, one senior star has been tipped to quit the club after Everton got in touch.