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Rob Mackenzie - Head of Recruitment

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Aston Villa swoop for former Leicester and Tottenham talent spotter

Villa are continuing a significant revamp of their scouting strategy with the appointment of former Leicester and Tottenham talent spotter Rob Mackenzie.

Highly-rated Mackenzie is joining from Belgian club OH Leuven and will work alongside new sporting director Johan Lange as the club's head of recruitment.

He was previously part of the Leicester scouting team which took the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Esteban Cambiasso to the King Power Stadium, while he also played a part in Tottenham’s capture of Son Heung-min and Toby Alderweireld.

Villa have carried out a thorough review of their recruitment department and see Mackenzie’s appointment as key to improving their record in the transfer market.

The club spent £140million after winning promotion back to the Premier League last season but with largely mixed results, only avoiding an immediate return to the Championship by a single point.

Mackenzie’s background is in analytics and at Villa are keen to strengthen that aspect of their approach to scouting and profiling players.

At Leuven, Leicester's sister club, he successfully introduced a modern, data-driven approach which helped them win promotion to the Belgian Premier League this year.

Villa boss Dean Smith will still have a major say on signings, with the club aiming for a blend of old-fashioned scouting with modern methods.

Lange joined from Copenhagen last week as a replacement to Jesus Garcia Pitarch, who left the club shortly after the end of the season.

Villa’s primary focus in this window is on bringing in players with Premier League experience, or at least proven in the English game. Brentford striker Ollie Watkins is among their top targets.

Express and Star

 

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Gotta be good news, though he's hardly likely to make much of an impact this window.  Still. it's an extra pair of hands at what should be a very busy time.

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2 minutes ago, BigJim said:

Gotta be good news, though he's hardly likely to make much of an impact this window.  Still. it's an extra pair of hands at what should be a very busy time.

Unless we plan to raid Belgium again. I presume he has a database of Belgium players ?

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Looking at his twitter it seems he already knows Lange...

 

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11 minutes ago, Fox1884 said:

Seems like he is highly rated wherever he goes, we were rumoured to be considering bringing him back after our head technical scout left last year but we went with someone else, but he definitely has good experience hehind him as well

Technical scouting is obviously becoming a massive thing when clubs look at transfers now so having someone like Mackenzie who has been doing it for a while will definitely help, will just depend on the kind of players that Smith wants

He used to follow Nigel Pearson around - was with us when he was our manager, left and joined Spurs, then joined up with Pearson at Derby and then recently OH Leuven when Pearson was manager and stayed after he left there

Good post from another thread.

2 minutes ago, useless said:

Looking at his twitter it seems he already knows Lange...

 

Wonder if Lange made early moves to get him in.

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18 minutes ago, Tomaszk said:

Starting the petition now to remove the emojis and ellipses from the topic title.

This isn't a farmyard.

Your wish is granted....

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Lange didn't waist any time.

Edens was looking at Copehagen and now we have Lange, Lange clearly knows MacKenzie and now he has joined.

This has all been on the cards for some time it would seem,. Interesting.

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3 minutes ago, TrentVilla said:

Your wish is granted....

We can remove the 'New' when he's no long new.

And the job title when he's signed his first superstar for 50p from Bolivia.

Nothing can stop us.

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20 minutes ago, brummybloke said:

Unless we plan to raid Belgium again. I presume he has a database of Belgium players ?

Given the geographical proximity I would imagine he has also scouted players from the Netherlands and maybe France and Germany. 

That said, I have no idea what their daily routine is, so I may very well be way off

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Come on MacKenzie we are not paying you overtime , identify some targets and let's get them in the door!!!!!!!!!!

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1 minute ago, WooJung said:

Given the geographical proximity I would imagine he has also scouted players from the Netherlands and maybe France and Germany. 

That said, I have no idea what their daily routine is, so I may very well be way off

Over the past 2 seasons the players they have signed have been mainly from central Europe - France, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Italy,

I do believe however they share some our scouting network/system as they are our sister club so I think they have been able to be a bit more expansive in their scouting compared to other clubs in their division

 

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19 minutes ago, useless said:

Looking at his twitter it seems he already knows Lange...

 

I so hope Edens follows up on his interest in buying them.

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12 minutes ago, TrentVilla said:

 

Lange didn't waist any time.

Edens was looking at Copehagen and now we have Lange, Lange clearly knows MacKenzie and now he has joined.

This has all been on the cards for some time it would seem,. Interesting.

Suso's contract expired this summer. Maybe they couldn't get their first choice in Lange and gave suso a short deal to tide us over until he was available. 

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12 minutes ago, pete101 said:

Come on MacKenzie we are not paying you overtime , identify some targets and let's get them in the door!!!!!!!!!!

If he hasn’t got a signing in by breakfast time I want an enquiry. 

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7 minutes ago, Made In Aston said:

Suso's contract expired this summer. Maybe they couldn't get their first choice in Lange and gave suso a short deal to tide us over until he was available. 

Not sure about that, he had a 2 year deal and I suspect Edens only became aware of Lange more recently when looking at Copenhagen.

I'm also not sure he would have joined us in the Championship, so I think this is more recent than Suso's appointment.

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