Thierry Henry: Aston Villa get transfer boost from star factor

Thierry Henry will be the “huge star” Aston Villa need to reignite their hopes in the transfer market, reckons Dean Ashton.

Henry is understood to have verbally agreed to become Aston Villa’s new manager.

The club saw new majority shareholders Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens arrive this summer and are now playing catch-up in the transfer market.

It appears as though Steve Bruce will be axed despite guiding Villa to playoff final heartbreak last season.

And former Norwich and West Ham striker Ashton admits the lure of a big name like Henry may be too good to turn down.

“If you’re a foreign investor, Thierry Henry is a huge star, a huge name with a fantastic decorated career,” Ashton told Express Sport.

“And you’d feel he would give the club an image that they want.

“He’d have the influence with the players and be able to go our into the transfer market and bring in players that maybe another manager couldn’t.”

Should Henry get the job he will follow fellow ex-pundits Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard away from the TV studio and into managerial hot seats.

Gerrard has taken over at Rangers, having worked as a Liverpool youth coach since hanging up his boots.

And Lampard is the new boss at Derby despite no previous coaching experience.

Ashton admits Lampard and Henry – should he land the Aston Villa post – are set for a tough season ahead in what is widely regarded as English football’s most completive league.

“The Championship is very different to the Premier League,” he said.

“Players’ attitudes are very different. You’ve got to juggle a lot of players from all age groups and at different stages of their careers.

“It won’t be an easy job and the players will still see through you if you cannot interact with them.”

As for Bruce, the former Birmingham and Hull manager remains in the job at Villa Park.

And Ashton concedes his situation is a product of modern football.

“At the end of the day it’s a business and they will want their own man in,” the one-time England international added.

“So it’s a real shame to hear Thierry Henry might already be in position without Steve Bruce leaving his post.

“But that’s football. It’s probably different to any other business because of the supporters, the history of football clubs.

“But that’s the way football’s going.

“The great job Steve Bruce did to almost get them promoted, it means nothing. Especially when you’ve got someone like Thierry Henry with his brand and image.

“Aston Villa fans will be massively excited to get someone like him in. But then it’s about whether or not the players take to him.”

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