Gareth Southgate has applauded Aston Villa's aim of rebuilding their squad around young players.

Southgate, who made 192 league appearances at Villa Park, believes that the club's vision of embedding youngsters into their squad is admirable and is glad that the Villans survived relegation.

Villa flirted with relegation throughout last season but Southgate thinks that the tough season could be learning curve for the young players.

Southgate told the Birmingham Mail: “I like the route the club have gone. It’s a brave route to go, but an understandable one.

“A lot of clubs have to look at their finances and be a little more cautious in how they invest and Villa have been very exciting of course.

“They have been what you’d expect from a young side, pretty inconsistent, but they will be much better for the experience."

Southgate is familiar with Paul Lambert's approach as he attempted to give young players a chance whilst in charge of Middlesborough from 2006-2009. 

However, the former England international failed in his philosophy and Middlesborough were relegated with Southgate ultimately sacked.

“If you go with young players you run a risk. I did it to a degree at Middlesbrough. I put a lot of faith in youth and in hindsight I perhaps put too much faith in certain positions.

“Having said that, unless you have got the money a couple of the owners in the Premier League have got then you have to really assess how you spend."

Southgate was club captain of Villa after spending six year at the Midlands club and he admitted that he would have been sad to see them relegated.

It’s great to see them survive as it’s still a club that means a lot to me.

“I would have hated to see them disappear this season,” added Southgate.


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