By Noel Whelan

14th Jan, 2022 | 3:30pm

Whelan issues '£30m' Aston Villa transfer claim as Smith deal agreed

Noel Whelan has claimed Aston Villa could save up to £30million with the signing of Kerr Smith from Dundee United.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, hailed the Villans’ recruitment plans as they close in on a deal for the 17-year-old defender.

As exclusively revealed by Football Insider on Thursday (13 January), Villa have agreed to sign Smith fron Dundee United after submitting a formal bid last week.

The teenager is set to sign a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Villans.

He will be Villa’s third signing of the month after Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne.

Whelan insisted the Scottish starlet’s capture could prove to be as important as the more senior arrivals in the long run.

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Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “I’m sure he couldn’t be going to a better place. He’s going to get the right guidance.

“They’ve got a fantastic youth setup. You’ve already seen there’s a pathway for young players from the academy setup. They’re playing in the first team now.

“Smith’s playing first-team football at a very young age for a lower side. He’s being snapped up by a Premier League club where they can develop him further with the attributes he’s already got.

“He’s shown why he’s in the first team at the very tender age of 17 in the Scottish Premiership.

“Villa at the minute are ticking lots and lots of boxes. I’m sure the fans will be absolutely overjoyed about.

“This is one for the future where they don’t have to go and spend £20-30million, and could ending up saving £30m on a player.”

Smith has played seven times for Dundee United’s senior side this season.

He has a total of 12 first-team appearances under his belt.

In other news, two Aston Villa stars tipped to explode after major development this week.