Aston Villa manager Dean Smith worked with Brighton and Hove Albion youngster Neal Maupay at Brentford.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has explained to The Birmingham Mail why he did not sign Neal Maupay before he joined Brighton and Hove Albion from Brentford in the summer transfer window.

Maupay moved to Premier League outfit Brighton from Championship club Brentford this summer for a transfer fee reported by The Birmingham Mail to be worth £20 million.

The 23-year-old, who can operate as a forward or as an attacking midfielder, scored 25 goals and provided eight assists in 43 Championship appearances for the Bees last season, according to WhoScored.

Villa manager Smith has said that he wanted to sign the French attacker he worked with at Brentford, but the price-tag stopped him from doing so.

Smith told The Birmingham Mail about Maupay: “Maupay, for instance, I personally thought at that time was a little bit too much.

“I love him as a player but the numbers that were getting talked about for me were too much.”

Premier League adventure

Maupay has made a decent start to his Premier League career, as the French youngster has scored one goal in three appearances in the league for Brighton so far this season, according to WhoScored.

There is a lot more to come from the 23-year-old, who could prove to be a bargain for £20m if he develops and progresses as expected.

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