By Villa News Speaking to Dan Bardell

3rd Nov, 2023 | 11:16am

Rob MacKenzie may have quit Aston Villa before he was forced to by Monchi

We’re delighted to welcome Sky Sports journalist Dan Bardell as our exclusive Aston Villa columnist as each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at the club…

There is a “changing of the guard” ongoing in terms of recruitment at Aston Villa following the exit of Rob MacKenzie, according to Dan Bardell.

The Evening Standard reported on Thursday (2 November) that the former Villa head of recruitment has left the club to join ex-sporting director Johan Lange at Tottenham.

The move sees the 38-year-old, who helped the Villans secure the signings of players such as Emiliano Martinez and Ollie Watkins, return to Spurs as chief scout following a previous stint with the North London outfit in 2015.

Bardell believes MacKenzie may have left Villa Park before he was pushed as director Monchi is now spearheading the club’s recruitment strategy following his arrival in Birmingham over the summer.

Speaking exclusively to Villa News, Bardell said: “I think it’s very much Villa are at the point where there’s a changing of the guard in terms of recruitment at the moment.

MacKenzie’s been involved in some good deals for Villa, the same as Johan Lange, who’s ended up going to Tottenham. It feels to me like this is Lange taking someone who he has worked with at Villa with him to Tottenham.

“Mackenzie maybe realised Villa are changing the way they do things with recruitment, with Monchi arriving over the last few months, maybe looking at going somewhere before they’re pushed. I could be wrong with that, but that’s just the vibe and the feeling that I’m getting.

“It was a great move for Lange going to Tottenham and it would be a good move for MacKenzie as well because they’re a team at the moment that are really travelling in the right direction. They’ve got the right manager and they’re moving forward.

“He’s done a decent job at Villa, he’s been involved in a lot of good, but I do feel over the next six to 12 months, you will see changes in certain football areas at Villa and the recruitment is probably one of them.

That’s simply because they’ve now got Monchi, who’s running that side of things. He’s going to want to bring in his own people and he’s going to have his own ideas about how to do things.

“But I think everyone would wish MacKenzie well because he’s been involved in a lot of key and positive deals for Villa.” 

In other Aston Villa news, a summer signing finally proved his worth with his performance against Luton.