Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is planning on making some key changes off the field this summer, according to reports.
While Villa have already enjoyed a superb start to the transfer window thus far with the signings of Emi Buendia and Ashley Young, it appears the manager is also intent on making sure the set-up around him is up to scratch too.
While the hiring of a set-piece coach may not sound like the most game-changing move Villa could make, looking at the stats from last season, it becomes that much more clear as to why Smith is keen to bring on in.
As per Whoscored, the Midlands club scored just 11 goals from set-pieces in the Premier League, five fewer than West Ham who finished at the top of that table.
With reports also linking Villa with a move for dead-ball specialist in James Ward-Prowse, it’s clear that Smith sees this area as a real point to improve on over the coming season and beyond.
If Villa can’t get a deal over the line for Southampton’s Ward-Prowse, then bringing in a coach to help the club’s existing players figure out techniques and routines for free-kicks and corners could prove to be the difference-maker.
Smith’s side took a real giant stride in the Premier League last season, and a new set-piece coach would help see them take yet another step to bridging the gap to the Premier League’s elite.
It’s exactly why fans will be buzzing with Percy’s behind-the-scenes claim as Villa continue to look for those small marginal gains that can make all the difference in top-flight matches.
Meanwhile, Lange must sign this Premier League star…