CREWE Alexandra academy graduate Ashley Westwood’s move back to the Premier League shows the club’s business model is working, boss Dave Artell says.
The 26-year-old Nantwich-born midfielder joined Burnley from Championship side Aston Villa on transfer deadline day.
Westwood made more than 100 appearances for The Alex before moving to Villa Park in 2012 and now Crewe are set to benefit financially from his move to Sean Dyche’s side.
He enjoyed regular Premier League football for the Birmingham outfit until their relegation last season and Artell, a former teammate of Westwood’s at Gresty Road, says he deserves a second shot at the top flight.
“Firstly, it is great for Westy. He came to our game on Saturday and he is a great professional,” he told crewealex.net.
“Anyone who has reached the Premier League and played over 100 games gets my respect.
“We all know here what a good player he is. It is massive credit to him and his family.
“It has been muted for a while that something could be happening for him and of course, it is fantastic financially for our club.
“The business model is in place and the chairman and board here make sure the club are rewarded if one of our former players move on.
“It can sometimes be a rocky road financially for smaller clubs but having sell-ons like this one certainly help.”
Artell was able to do several pieces of deadline day business himself on Tuesday, with two players joining and one player leaving the club.
Striker Jonny Margetts has joined the club on loan from Scunthorpe United until the end of the season, while attacking midfielder Callum Cooke has also arrived on a similar deal from Middlesbrough.
Meanwhile, defender Harry Davis has moved north of the border to join Scottish Championship side St Mirren on loan until May.
On the field, Artell’s quest for a first win as Crewe boss takes him to Devon on Saturday as The Alex make the long trip to face Exeter City, kick off 3pm.
Artell saw his side create several chances in Saturday’s home game against Cheltenham Town, but they failed to convert any of them in their 0-0 draw.
Crewe stay 19th in the League Two table, but Artell was keen to take the positives.
“If it was a boxing match it would probably have been stopped but we don’t participate in boxing and the bottom line is it was a point each,” he said.
“We have to take the positives. You have to and there were a number of them.
“We have created chances, we have kept a clean-sheet and we didn’t lose the game. We also had a better performance over 90 minutes.”