Dean Smith has admitted his surprise at being able to lure goalkeeper Tom Heaton away from Burnley, where he was club captain.
As per the Express and Star, Smith looked at the reaction of the Clarets and their fans to his departure as an indicator of what a player he’s signed.
He said: “I’m very surprised we managed to get Tom. He has been a very successful keeper at Burnley and was pivotal for them last season.
“You only need to look at the reaction of the opposition supporters to know you have a really good signing. They were very disappointed he had left them.”
In a hugely inflated transfer market, Villa have pulled off a very good coup in getting Heaton through the door, with his advancing years not being so much of an issue because he plays between the sticks.
Jed Steer helped Villa get up but Smith needed more Premier League experience and Heaton did genuinely help turn around the fortunes of Burnley, who struggled in the early part of last season.
Getting in another Premier League club’s captain is a great coup for a newly-promoted side and Heaton is not a mercenary in it for a pay day – he’s an experienced Premier League campaigner with a great attitude.