Barry left West Brom in the summer and Albion still haven't been compensated by Barcelona with reports claiming the Baggies have sought legal advice.
But Purslow said at the recent Villa Supporters Trust AGM, “The signing of Louie Barry from Barcelona was… sometimes in business and in sport, sometimes you need a marquee development to signal to the rest of the marketplace that we're back in business.
“We wanted to signal to 14, 15 and 16-year-olds and their parents that Aston Villa is deadly serious about youth football. So we take the only British 16-year-old to ever be transferred to Spain.
“Imagine, you're 16, you've moved out to Barcelona and the three people who recruited you and talked you into the job aren't there anymore - and you're 16, away from home.
“In a world of England youth football, they all know Louie because he's the best 16-year-old in the country - and he's just gone to Aston Villa.
“Imagine what that does for our recruitment potential. It was a statement of intent, I'm very proud of it, but judge my actions in another year's time."