Breaking: Aston Villa appoints new sporting director


Aston Villa have named a replacement for Jesus Garcia Pitarch, the sporting director who left earlier this week. Pitarch – known as Suso – left the club after almost two years at Villa Park.

Former Wolverhampton Wanderers first-team coach Johan Lange has joined the club in his place, leaving Danish club FC Copehnagen after six years with the club.

Lange reports directly to the board.

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Suso left the club after being criticized for recruiting last summer, with £ 130million spent on 12 new players following promotion to the Premier League.

With a similar number of players leaving the club, a turnaround was needed and Dean Smith’s side survived relegation by one point on the last day of the season last week.

“We are pleased to welcome Johan to Aston Villa as we continue to build a world class organization,” said co-owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

“Last season we were able to go through a very difficult transition to the Premier League and we are satisfied with the efforts made to stay in place.

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“But we won’t be happy until we reach our goal of bringing lasting success to Aston Villa at the highest level of European football.

“We have made significant progress in building an organization and culture that will support success. We have made significant investments in our academic program by modernizing our facilities and bringing in a talented management team. We have also invested significantly in our women’s team which has successfully promoted to the highest level of women’s football.

“This is a great opportunity to improve our football operations. We are excited to be working directly with Johan and the team to strengthen our analytics, sports science, talent recruitment and player development programs.

“We are incredibly optimistic about the future of Aston Villa and remain committed to investing more in the success of the club. “


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