Dean Smith and John Terry are not the only new appointments Aston Villa made official yesterday.
Smith made the move to his boyhood club on Wednesday after a stellar spell at Brentford with former club captain Terry announced as his number two. But Jesus Garcia Pitarch is another new name behind-the-scenes at Villa Park.
As reported by the club’s official website, Pitarch has been appointed as Aston Villa’s new sporting director. But what can supporters expect from a man who held a similar role at both Atletico Madrid and Valencia?
Well, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague is not a bad person to ask.
“(Pitarch) was with Valencia, the famous Valencia with Rafa Benitez, and basically took them to win titles, league and UEFA Cup," Balague told his official YouTube channel.
"They clashed because Garcia Pitarch had the vision of the club, he didn’t want to spend too much money and some of the money he spent wasn’t what Rafa Benitez wanted.
“Then Garcia Pitarch ended up at Atletico Madrid and he did very cleverly as well in his four years. They actually went into the Champions League with him and won the UEFA Cup and also a European Super Cup.
“And that was the beginning of the transformation of Atletico Madrid.”
Pitarch has also held roles at Hercules, Real Zaragoze and UAE outfit Baniyas and returned to Valencia in January 2016, where he forged a close relationship with Villa-linked Jorge Mendes, before leaving the Mestalla 12 months later.
And Balague believes the 54-year-old should improve Aston Villa’s recruitment, having signed the likes of Diego Forlan and Jose Antonio Reyes during his time in Spain.
“(Pitarch is known for) clever signings. (He’s an) intelligent football man, even though he has been away from football.”