'Massive bonus' - Exclusive: Danny Mills claims Smith has 'shortcut' to PL success at Villa


Danny Mills claims that Aston Villa have a “shortcut” to succeeding in the Premier League next season thanks to the experience of John Terry.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England defender says that Terry’s years of service in the top flight will provide knowledge and insight that Dean Smith cannot purchase in the transfer window.

The former Chelsea star hung up his boots at the end of the 2017/18 campaign and returned to Villa Park as assistant boss to Dean Smith.

Mills insists that players at Villa Park will be looking to use Terry as a guide to help them during their first season back in the top flight, with a number of players lacking in or possessing no Premier League game time.

Asked about the impact Terry’s experience will have, Mills told Football Insider: “I think it’s a massive bonus for players to respect and look up to someone who’s been there, seen it, done it and only recently. 

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“They can feed off those experiences – going to Stamford Bridge, going to Manchester United, the Etihad, the Emirates. Even the likes of Bournemouth, he can say: ‘This is what to expect, this is what it’s going to be like.’ All those things he can draw on is absolutely vital to draw on.

“You cannot buy experience. To try and learn it from somebody else and have a little bit of a shortcut or a fast-track I think is very, very important.” 

Terry played 492 times in the Premier League during his time at Chelsea, making 705 appearances across all competitions for the Blues.

He also featured 36 times for Villa, the only other club he played for during his career, including playing alongside the likes of current stars Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane.

In other Aston villa news, Darren Bent has tipped one 20-year-old to make a big impact in the top flight next season.