By Graham Hill
DEAN Smith has admitted for the first time that he DID try to sign Neal Maupay from Brentford – but walked away from the deal as it was too expensive.
Smith says he was not prepared to agree to deal worth £20million and the French striker went to Brighton instead.
The Villa boss says he will not spend the club’s owners’ money without thinking through if a player is worth it.
Smith says still he carries the careful spending of his days at Walsall and Brentford with him.
Smith told reporters: “I certainly have worked to small budgets!
“It shapes the way you are.
“Those values have never left me. I try and treat the money as if it were my own, as I did at Walsall.
“Maupay for instance. I love him as a player but the numbers that were getting talked about were too much for me.
“There are a lot of players out there you’d obviously like.
“What you want if you’re going to bring someone in is that you want to increase that value.
“What you don’t want is to decrease it because otherwise you’re not doing a very good job.
“I believe our job as coaches is to improve players and when you’re doing that you are improving the value as well.”