Aston Villa’s spending this summer shows no sign of slowing down after they confirmed their eighth new addition in Bjorn Engels on Tuesday night.
Dean Smith has been busy strengthening his squad ahead of the new campaign following on from their promotion from the Championship last season.
As noted on VIlla’s official site last month, eight players were released while some loanees weren’t retained, and so there is no doubt that new signings were needed this summer to add quality and depth.
Of those players released, four of them were defenders, and so it’s no surprise that Smith has focused on that area of his squad as Sky Sports note that Engels becomes their eighth signing of the summer in a £9m deal, and fourth new defensive addition.
Further, it’s added in the report that their spending has now reached £100m this summer in total if bonuses are included, while they are also being tipped to wrap up a £15m swoop for Douglas Luiz from Manchester City which will certainly take them over that mark shortly.
We are delighted to confirm the signing of @BjornEngels from Stade Reims. ??
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) July 16, 2019
On one hand, it’s a big gamble to spend so much and bank it on helping them stay up this season and avoid an immediate return to the second tier of English football.
However, they appear to be spending wisely on players that are needed to fill key voids in the squad, and it will be down to whether or not their scouting network has done their job properly to identify the right players to fit into Smith’s system and style of play.
While the Villa boss will be fully aware of what many of their new signings can offer given many were either on loan at the club last season or he has previously coached them at Brentford, the likes of Engels and Wesley will be the big gambles as they will need to play their part.
Engels, 24, arrives after spells with Club Brugge, Olympiacos and Reims, while he has been capped from U17 to U21 level for Belgium.