Aston Villa would be making an unforgivable mistake by replacing Dean Smith with Nuno Espirito Santo this summer.
After his time at Molineux came to an end following the conclusion of the Premier League season, it appears that Nuno could be set for a return to the dugout in English football as shock news emerges from Villa Park.
Football Insider claimed that super-agent Jorge Mendes has held talks with the club’s owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens (NSWE) over the possibility of installing the 47-year-old as manager.
The report adds: “Edens and Sawiris are hugely ambitious and will bankroll more major spending this summer on new signings as they look to establish Villa as a top-six team.
“Smith may well start next season in the dugout but will come under huge pressure for his job in the autumn period if they do not start the new campaign well.”
Make no mistake about it, if Villa’s owners were to remove Smith from his post and appoint Nuno, fans could be absolutely fuming – the current boss was the one to guide the Midlands club out of the Championship, and after managing to avoid relegation in their first season back in the Premier League, led them to a superb 11th-placed finish this time around.
A boyhood Villa fan, Smith has built up an incredible relationship with the club’s fans and has got the team playing impressively, making a number of important and exciting signings to build around Jack Grealish.
Nuno, on the other hand, has come in for some intense criticism for his lack of attacking football, and he leaves Molineux after essentially stagnating at Wolves – former Villa striker Gabby Abgonlahor has been one of those to take aim at his tactics.
He said: “When I watch Wolves they’re very boring to watch. You watch them and they can’t play unless they’re playing five at the back because their centre-halves aren’t good enough to play as a four.
“They’re very boring when they play five at the back as well. You can see the manager’s tried to change it by playing four at the back against West Ham but their centre-halves couldn’t manage it and they lost.
“I’m sure he’ll revert back to five at the back and they’ll become boring again. Maybe the loss of Jimenez has been massive but still with the players they’ve got they’re underachieving.”
Villa simply can’t afford to make the mistake of getting rid of Smith to appoint Nuno, who finished two places and 10 points worse off than the 50-year-old with a rival Midlands club.