Aston Villa chief Dean Smith has spoken of Wes Edens’ first visit to Villa Park for nearly two years, with the pair meeting prior to Villa’s defeat against Wolves last week. Co-owner Edens jetted into the UK for the first time since the pandemic hit in 2020 and dropped by to see Christian Purslow, sporting director Johan Lange and Villa’s head coach. Chairman Nassef Sawiris has attended Villa’s games in London this season. The Egyptian was at Chelsea and Spurs prior to the international break with Sawiris and Edens having a constant communication line with Purslow and Lange over a whole host of subjects, from results and performances to stadium issues and transfer targets. BirminghamLive , meanwhile, asked Smith about his meeting with Villa’s American owner Edens.
Dean Smith said: “Yeah, he’s good. He came to the game (vs Wolves) and it’s the first time he’s been at Villa Park for nearly two years, I think, with the pandemic, and it was good to see him. Obviously, what the owners have done with this football club is incredible and it was the first time we could congratulate him in person on the Bucks winning the NBA as well. I think they were presented with their (NBA championship) rings this week as well so it was good to see him but, unfortunately, we couldn’t send him home happy with the three points.”
Edens didn’t hang around last week and left Villa Park not too long after the final whistle. To Friday night’s trip to Arsenal now and the 59-year-old, along with Sawiris, stumped up as much as £25million for Villa’s second bid for England under-21 star Emile Smith Rowe earlier this summer. Villa had already beat Arsenal to the £38million signing of Emi Buendia weeks previously and, in an attempt to convince Jack Grealish to stay, tried desperately to lure Smith Rowe to Villa Park, with details since coming to light knowing Smith wanted Smith Rowe, Grealish and Buendia to play behind Ollie Watkins in attack. Again, BirminghamLive asked the manager about why he wanted to sign Smith Rowe and the response was a simple one.
Dean Smith said: “He’s a good footballer! I think everyone can see that. He decided to stay at Arsenal. Arsenal’s a big football club in its own right. He’s a good player and we want good players at this football club.”
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