Aston Villa transfer news: Villa have 'definitely' secured key behind-the-scenes upgrade

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith on the touchline

Luke Hatfield believes Aston Villa’s sporting director Johan Lange is an undoubted upgrade on his predecessor, Jesus Garcia Pitarch. 

The Express and Star journalist has claimed Pitarch’s record in the transfer market was inconsistent, with some of his signings failing to ‘show up’ for the Premier League side. 

What’s the latest news involving Johan Lange?

Earlier this month, Lange’s efforts at Villa were widely praised by The Athletic’s Gregg Evans, who described the sporting director as the ‘quiet man plotting Aston Villa’s revolution’. 

Evans’ article credited Lange with helping sign the likes of Leon Bailey, Emi Buendia, Danny Ings, Ashley Young, Bertrand Traore, Morgan Samson and Matty Cash. 

Four of those players had already scored for Villa in the Premier League this season prior to the weekend’s action, while all but one – the injured Samson – had featured in the top flight. 

Villa hired Lange in summer 2020, after Pitarch left Villa Park due to ‘increasing tensions‘ with chief executive Christian Purslow. 

And the general consensus appears to be that Lange has done a much better job than the man he replaced as Aston Villa’s transfer guru. 

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What has Luke Hatfield said about Lange and Pitarch?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Hatfield descibed Lange as a ‘definite’ upgrade on Pitarch, while criticising the Spaniard’s signings. 

The Express and Star journalist responded when asked whether Lange was an improvement on his predecessor: “Definitely. Pitarch came in and it was much more inconsistent, some of the signings that we saw come in.

“I’m not saying it was all Pitarch’s work but when he’s in that position you’re judged ultimately on the players that are brought into the club and there was just so much inconsistency. 

“There were some players who did really well and others who didn’t and some that flat-out just didn’t really show up.”  

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Who did Pitarch sign for Aston Villa?

While it would be unfair to brand any additions as exclusively Pitarch signings, he arrived at Villa Park in 2018 and spent two years overseeing their transfer business. 

In that time, Villa brought in former club-record signing Wesley – he’s gone on to score just six goals for the club and was loaned out to Club Brugge this summer. 

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Other signings under Pitarch include Lovre Kalinic, Frederic Guilbert, Ally Samatta and Bjorn Engles. That quartet are now either out on loan or have left Villa Park permanently. 

But on a more positive note, Pitarch did also oversee the arrivals of John McGinn, Matt Targett, Tyrone Mings, Douglas Luiz and Ezri Konsa, all of whom had started in seven of Villa’s first eight Premier League games of the campaign.

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