Smith won't stand in Terry's way if manager vacancy becomes available

‘I have no doubt JT will be a manager’: Aston Villa boss Dean Smith insists he won’t stand in assistant John Terry’s way if offer of a No 1 job comes around 

  • John Terry has been assistant to Dean Smith at Aston Villa since October 2018
  • The Chelsea legend is expected to take a managerial role at a club in the future 
  • West Brom and Derby are among teams who could target the former defender 

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has promised his assistant John Terry he’ll be kept fully informed of any approaches regarding managers’ jobs.

Smith accepts Terry’s growing reputation as a coach will see him offered a No1 job at some stage and out of respect thinks he deserves to make his own mind up when opportunities arise.

West Brom and Derby are among teams who could target he 39-year-old former Chelsea and England captain with their own managers Slaven Bilic and Phillip Cocu currently under pressure.

Dean Smith was appointed Aston Villa manager in 2018 and placed John Terry as his assistant

Since then Aston Villa were promoted back to the top-flight as the club continues to improve

Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, who face Villa tonight, has already enjoyed success by winning the FA Cup having previously been Pep Guardiola’s right-hand man at Manchester City.

‘I have no doubt JT will be a manager. When and where, I don’t know,’ says Smith.

‘I’m happy he is part of our coaching team, he’s been very good. The amount of detail he has given the defenders has helped them improve individually and collectively.

‘JT has chosen the route to become a coach first, learn as much as he can and eventually he will go on and become a manager.

‘If there was an approach, we’d go to him and get his thoughts before myself, Johan (Lange, sporting director) and Christian (Purslow, Chief Executive) spoke.

‘At the moment, it’s hypothetical. But our first port of call would be JT.’

Terry was regarded as one of the Premier League’s greatest defenders but rather than jump into a manager’s job like former England team-mates Frank Lampard and Steve Gerrard, he’s followed the Arteta route and helped Villa avoid relegation last season.

It is widely expected that the former Chelsea defender will become a manager himself one day

Offers may come sooner rather than later with West Brom manager Slaven Bilic facing Tottenham on Sunday without a win and upset with the club selling defender Ahmed Hegazi.

Terry’s brother Paul works at Albion as loan manager but is currently facing FA charges of breaking betting rules over a two-year period.

Derby, struggling in The Championship under Philippe Cocu, are close to being bought by Prince Khaled of the Abu Dhabi royal family.

Villa have lost their last two league games following a 100 per cent start to the season and Smith is expecting a reaction at Arsenal from midfielder Ross Barkley who was left out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad named on Thursday.

‘The truth is Ross Barkley is a top Premier League player,’ said Smith about his Chelsea loanee.

‘At the training ground he’s been a breath of fresh air. He wants to learn and asks a lot of questions too which I really admire from someone of his stature.

West Brom and Derby could be options with Slaven Bilic and Phillip Cocu both under threat

‘The first three games with us, he’s covered the most distance and done the most high-speed running in the team, so he’s working hard on both aspects of his game.

‘We have got a leadership group within our squad. Obviously Jack (Grealish) and Tyrone (Mings) are part of that, John McGinn is another, and Ross who has come into the team with the experience that he’s got.’

Albion will be long underdogs against Spurs. For skipper Jake Livermore, it’s a chance to see former Tottenham team-mates Harry Kane and Gareth Bale again.

‘I’ve known Harry since we were kids. He was always single-minded and wanted to improve,’ said Livermore.

‘Gareth was a freak of nature physically, his pace and strength, and a wonderful left foot. He always seemed to get us out of a hole. It’s remarkable to see his career flourish.

‘It’s not panic stations for us yet. We have played some good stuff in spells but been a bit naive. The manager believes in us and that’s massive.’

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