Craig Shakespeare has made a rapid return to Premier League football after being appointed assistant head coach at Aston Villa.

The former Watford assistant left Vicarage Road following the sacking of Nigel Pearson with two games of the Hornets’ top-flight season remaining, but he has now linked up with former Walsall team-mate Dean Smith at Villa Park.

The Villa boss told the club website: “I was keen to add some additional Premier League know-how onto my coaching team and Craig certainly has that in abundance.

“He’s a vastly experienced coach who will add another dimension to our team. I've known Craig for many years since our Walsall playing days and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

Villa already have two assistant head coaches in John Terry and Richard O’Kelly.

The Birmingham club secured their top-flight survival on the final day of the season by drawing 1-1 at West Ham United to finish a point ahead of relegated Bournemouth and Watford.