Villa appoint Henke to head scouting
Paul Lambert's overhaul of Aston Villa has continued with the appointment of former Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich assistant manager Michael Henke as head of European scouting.
Henke, who was the long-time assistant to Ottmar Hitzfeld will take charge of a radical overhaul of the club's European network. Lambert has used his connections with Henke from their time at Dortmund to persuade owner Randy Lerner to make the high-profile addition to his backroom staff at Villa Park.
Henke will now replicate the responsibilities he held under Jurgen Klinsmann when the former Spurs striker took over at Bayern in 2008. He will be in full charge of analysis and scouting from his new base at the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground and is eager to translate his experiences in Germany to the Premier League.
"Our objective will be to identify young players who have a good future and a good mentality," Henke said. "It is not only about good technique but it is also about the right character and what is required overall to be a successful player in the Premier League.
"It is not always about young, emerging talent either - also players with experience who will be motivated by the challenge and who we believe will bring the right qualities to Aston Villa and benefit the Club. Of course, I also worked with Paul as a player at Borussia Dortmund and therefore I have known him for a long time.
"We share many of the same ideas about football. For instance, good organisation is paramount, as is an innate ethic which ensures that every player will work as hard as he can to achieve success. Paul has explained to me what type of qualities in particular that he will want most of all in the players we look at and clearly we will be looking at high quality in order to be able to compete well."
Henke's appointment and the arrival of players such as Karim El Ahmadi, Ron Vlaar and Brett Holman demonstrate the strong focus on the European market and new manager Lambert's determination to ensure long-term strength and development.
"It's great to have a man with Michael's experience and track record to come in to this role and I'm delighted that we've been able to bring him here," Lambert added.
"Michael has been successful with two great clubs in Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, working with Ottmar Hitzfeld and together bringing Champions League success and a succession of Buindesliga titles to both clubs. In the European game he has an unbelievable wealth of experience and an enviable network of contacts. It's a great thing for Aston Villa that we have been able to attract a man of his calibre."