The Birmingham Mail‘s Ashley Preece has shed some more light on Aston Villa’s recent “coup” following transfer deadline day.
Dean Smith’s side recently confirmed that they had appointed Aaron Danks as assistant head coach alongside Craig Shakespeare, with the 38-year-old having come in from his position at Anderlecht.
Preece has now said: “It was achievable knowing Mark Harrison, Villa’s academy manager, worked with Danks for several years at West Brom. Danks has an impressive CV knowing he was at the FA for five years and helped the U20s win the World Cup in 2017.
“At Anderlecht, he linked up with Kompany and Bellamy and I’m told he was by far the most-vocal of the three during their training sessions. He worked a lot on attacking and set-pieces so, on the face of it, the appointment could be a bit of a coup as well. Plus, he’s local to Solihull.”
Following John Terry’s abrupt departure from Villa Park earlier this summer, Smith desperately needed to find someone to replace him, and in Danks they appear to have a perfect fit.
While the 38-year-old doesn’t quite come with the same global reputation that Terry did, or the ex-Chelsea captain’s defensive nous, he is someone who has had plenty of experience shaping and coaching a team’s attack, having done that as the lead offensive specialist coach while working with the FA.
The Express and Star‘s Matt Maher added a bit more to his appointment, revealing: “Smith had been keen to appoint a younger coach with a background in data and analytics. Danks’ expertise as an attacking coach was also seen as a key attribute.”
Now that Smith’s backroom setup is all compete, Smith can get back to delegating responsibilities like he usually would rather than the kind of quick fix that he no doubt would have gone for following Terry’s exit.
It’s an exciting appointment for Villa and one which should have fans buzzing too.