Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow has revealed his belief that the club will be ‘extremely busy’ this summer in backing Unai Emery in the transfer market.
Villa were relatively quiet in January – Emery’s first transfer window since taking charge – with Jhon Duran and Alex Moreno our only notable additions.
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Danny Ings and Frederic Guilbert moved on permanently, Cameron Archer, Morgan Sanson and Marvelous Nakamba were loaned out while Jan Bednarek and Ludwig Augustinsson saw their loan stints with us end.
In turn, the transfer window arguably became more about clearing space in the squad for Emery to then bring in key reinforcements in the summer, as the Spaniard has remained consistent in his plan that he only wants to sign players who will significantly improve us.
Speculation has been rife since the end of last month, and it certainly sounds as though Villa are preparing for a big recruitment push this summer based on Purslow’s comments below.
“We’re always looking ahead,” Purslow told BT Sport, as quoted by BirminghamLive. “We like to be strategic about the way we build our squad. Unai obviously is taking his time in assessing the players he’s inherited, and he has a very clear vision for what he wants to do going forward. I expect it to be an extremely busy summer.”
The expectation is that Emery will continue to use this season as an opportunity to closely look at the players currently at his disposal to determine who fits into his long-term plans at the club.
Naturally, we hope that we can secure some short-term success too, but the long-term picture is more important as we look to build a squad capable of competing at the highest level for a sustained period.
Purslow was asked about that process and the objective of breaking into the top six in the Premier League, and he was keen to emphasis the importance of doing it the correct way in terms of the financial and business aspect of it, and ensuring that it’s a sustainable project moving forward.
“That’s the key word: sustainable,” he added. “We’re trying to do things the right way, that’s the tradition of this great club. That means patiently, consistently seeking to improve, but doing so within the financial rules.
“Those rules are very topical today. That is why clubs like Fulham and Brentford are able to be successful. But I think it’s quite likely we’ll see, in the coming months and years, further reform of those crucial financial regulations.
“When properly applied, they ensure that the wealth of ownership is a secondary factor, not the primary factor. I think that’s the way most football fans think football should be.”
That’s what makes the club’s plans to expand Villa Park so important, and there are of course commercial interests and contracts that will no doubt continue to be a fundamental part of our roadmap.
From a football perspective though, it’s hoped that Emery is backed heavily this summer to recruit the players he has identified as being priorities, as although he can certainly get plenty more out of the current squad given his coaching qualities, we need to allow him to bring in his own players as he continues to implement his ideas and principles.