Aston Villa sack sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch after criticism over club’s recruitment strategy

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Aston Villa have sacked sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch just one day after securing their Premier League status.

Dean Smith’s side avoided an immediate return to the Championship with a 1-1 draw at West Ham as Watford and Bournemouth were relegated on Sunday.


Pitarch arrived at Villa Park in April 2018
Getty Images – Getty

Villa have faced criticism for their recruitment last summer, which saw £118m worth of players arrive in the Midlands.

Most notably, Wesley arrived in a £22million deal from Club Brugge and managed just five Premier League goals in his debut season in England.

Following a season-ending knee injury to Wesley, in an attempt to find more goals in the January transfer window, Mbwana Samatta was brought in from Genk for £10, but netted just once in the league.

Danny Drinkwater was also loaned in from Chelsea, however, the midfielder appeared only four times and was exiled after allegedly headbutting teammate Jota in a training session.

And Pitarch, known as Suso, appears to have paid the price with his departure.

Aston Villa’s signings for the 2019/20 season

  • Marvelous Nakamba from Club Brugge – £11m
  • Tom Heaton from Burnley – £8m
  • Mbwana Samatta from Genk – £10m
  • Borja Baston from Swansea – free
  • Kortney Hause from Wolves – £3m
  • Wesley from Club Brugge – £22m
  • Jota from Birmingham – £4m
  • Anwar El Ghazi from Lille – £8m
  • Ezri Konsa from Brentford – £12m
  • Tyrone Mings from Bournemouth – £20m
  • Douglas Luiz from Man City – £15m
  • Trezeguet from Kasimpasa – £8.75m
  • Pepe Reina from AC Milan – loan
  • Danny Drinkwater – loan
  • Matt Targett from Southampton – £15.6m
  • Bjorn Engels from Reims – £7.2m

Despite the perceived poor recruitment, Douglas Luiz, a £15m arrival from Man City, Pepe Reina, on loan from AC Milan and Tyrone Mings, who cost £20m from Bournemouth, were considered successes at Villa Park.

Last month, talkSPORT regular Tony Cascarino slammed Villa’s recruitment for the 2019/20 campaign.

He said: “I’m just looking through Aston Villa’s spending and laughing. In nearly every position they’ve bought a player or two.“They’ve spent £140 odd million and they’ve bought centre halves, they’ve bought a couple of centre forwards, they’ve bought a left back in Matt Targett.

“They’ve brought in Douglas Luiz in central midfield, they’ve brought in a goalkeeper – they’ve brought in players for every position.

“I just think they’ve looked terrible this season. They look like they’re playing a pre-season friendly most of the time to me, and not a side in a relegation battle.”


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