Dean Smith reckons Aston Villa’s 2019-20 survival campaign has allowed the club to be “choosier” in the transfer market.
Villa have not looked back since maintaining their top flight status in dramatic style on the last day of last season following a tense run-in.
From being relegation candidates last term they will be knocking on the door of the European places this term if they continue their fine form.
Speaking after an emphatic 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Villa Park lifted Villa up to sixth in the table, Smith touched upon his squad’s progress.
He admitted that the recruitment spree of the summer of 2019 was done on a needs must basis as Villa’s promoted squad needed a big overhaul.
But he says consolidating their place in the Premier League has enabled them to be more discerning in the transfer market.
Hence a summer 2020 upgrade which included the arrivals of Ollie Watkins, Emi Martinez, Matty Cash and Bertrand Traore, as well as Ross Barkley on loan.
“We knew coming into the Premier League we had to change the whole squad pretty much,” said Smith.
“We kept a core of players with Jack Grealish, John McGinn, Tyrone Mings, but we bought in 13 players and it was always going to be tough.
“But the players have become accustomed to it. At the end of last season, having retained our status we then could be a bit more choosier in terms of who we picked.
“We picked more quality and that’s paying dividends at the moment.
“We’re still progressing as a team even though our average age of the squad is the lowest in the Premier League which bodes well for the future.”