Why Aston Villa should give ex-Derby boss Paul Clement a route back into management

Paul Clement was recently sacked as manager of Derby County.

Aston Villa’s chances of Premier League survival are slim to say the least, and the club would be wise to plan for their impending relegation to the Championship as of now.

The first question is whether Remi Garde will stay on as boss, and on the evidence suggested so far it is looking increasingly likely that the Frenchman will depart Villa Park in the summer.

The Championship can be an unforgiving league with so many clubs vying for promotion, and Villa must bring in a head coach who knows the league and has the tools to get out of it at the first attempt.

While Nigel Pearson could be deemed an attractive proposition, the former Leicester City boss may have suitors elsewhere with Newcastle United seemingly on the verge of changing head coaches.

So who would be the ideal candidate to take over at Villa Park? Harry Redknapp is surely a no-go, Brendan Rodgers is arguably too good for the Championship and the same could probably be said of David Moyes.

But what about Paul Clement? Carlo Ancelotti’s former number two has plenty of experience coaching elite players from his time at Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, and his sacking at Derby was not results-based.

Clement had the Rams fighting for automatic promotion, having engineered a run of just one defeat in 19 before encountering a sticky patch over the New Year, but he was sacked for not applying to the ‘Derby Way’ - a phrase used by owner Mel Morris to describe a host of key actions both on and off the pitch.

The former PE Teacher knows how to handle big names, he knows how to win football matches in the Championship and he has plenty to offer - both in the short term and the long run.

Villa need stability, and appointing a manager who will be with them for longer than a season or two will be key to getting the club back on track and re-established in the top flight.

Clement, 44, will make it as the number one at a big club, the question is whether Villa would be prepared to hand him the opportunity only six months after losing his job at another promotion contender.

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