Aston Villa appoint Steven Gerrard as new manager as Liverpool legend makes Premier League return

Aston Villa appoint Steven Gerrard as their new manager as Premier League strugglers land No 1 target following Dean Smith’s sacking… with Liverpool legend waving goodbye to Rangers after hugely successful three-year stay

  • Aston Villa have appointed Steven Gerrard as their new manager at Villa Park
  • The Villans have been on the hunt for a new boss after sacking Dean Smith 
  • Gerrard, 41, has impressed during a hugely successful stint as Rangers boss
  • The Liverpool legend arrives with the club hovering above the relegation places











Aston Villa have announced the appointment of Steven Gerrard as their new manager, with the Liverpool legend waving goodbye to Rangers for a return to the Premier League.

The Villans parted ways with Dean Smith earlier this month after he oversaw a run of five league defeats on the bounce to leave the West Midlands club hovering above the relegation zone in 16th position.

Gerrard has been Villa’s No 1 target to fill the vacancy, with the club’s owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, as well chief executive Christian Purslow impressed by the job Gerrard, 41, has done at Ibrox, his first in management. 

Aston Villa have announced the appointment of Steven Gerrard as their new manager

Gerrard was Villa's No 1 target to replace Dean Smith given his huge success as Rangers boss

Gerrard was Villa’s No 1 target to replace Dean Smith given his huge success as Rangers boss

He won the Scottish Premiership title last term, breaking Celtic’s sequence of nine in a row and going the entire league season unbeaten, and although he has shown fierce loyalty to the club, he has decided to embrace the challenge on offer at Villa Park. Rangers are set to be paid £2.5million in compensation.

Gerrard has been the leading name on Villa’s managerial shortlist that contained Brentford boss Thomas Frank and Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand – although the latter insisted he had no interest in taking the job. Belgium boss Roberto Martinez was also a candidate, although he is said to have had reservations about the job.

Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard and Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl were also considered by Villa chiefs for the post, but Purslow had a connection with Gerrard from his previous role in the Liverpool boardroom.

Gerrard joined Rangers in May 2018 and has always said he is happy with the Gers, but a move south now allows the former England captain to spend more time with his family, who still live in the Liverpool area. 

It is also no secret that Gerrard’s ultimate goal is to manage Liverpool, the club with which he is synonymous after a glittering playing career at Anfield. Bringing success to Villa could be his final stepping stone to his dream job, once Jurgen Klopp eventually departs.

The Liverpool legend arrives with Villa languishing above the drop zone following five defeats

The Liverpool legend arrives with Villa languishing above the drop zone following five defeats

Dean Smith, a boyhood Villa fan, was sacked by the club after a run of five straight defeats

Dean Smith, a boyhood Villa fan, was sacked by the club after a run of five straight defeats

His assistants Tommy Culshaw, Gary McAllister, first-team coach Michael Beale and head of performance Jordan Milsom are likely to follow him to Villa.

It is unclear where that would leave existing Villa coaches Aaron Danks and Austin MacPhee, who were hired under Smith earlier this year, while goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler also remains from the Smith era. Smith’s assistant Craig Shakespeare left the club with him.

Gerrard has the remainder of the international break to assess his new squad before the Villans entertain Brighton at Villa Park on November 20. 

Though the majority of Villa’s players were sad to see Smith, a boyhood Villa fan, depart after five successive defeats, Sportsmail understands Gerrard arriving has been greeted with widespread excitement in the dressing room, with senior figures already aware of the need to make an immediate impression.

Gerrard leaves Rangers top of the Scottish Premiership table, leading Celtic by four points, with the only blot on his copybook a Champions League qualifying defeat by Malmo which saw them drop into the Europa League this season.

As a player, Gerrard scored more goals against Villa – 13 in 27 games across all competitions – than any other side he faced in his career. 

MORE TO FOLLOW 

Gerrard was hugely successful and admired at Rangers in his first job as a manager

Gerrard was hugely successful and admired at Rangers in his first job as a manager

It is no secret that he is on a path to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool if he proves himself

It is no secret that he is on a path to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool if he proves himself

Gerrard is synonymous with Liverpool after long leading the club during a glittering career

Gerrard is synonymous with Liverpool after long leading the club during a glittering career

Villa chief executive Christian Purslow made Gerrard his No 1 target and landed his man

Villa chief executive Christian Purslow made Gerrard his No 1 target and landed his man

Gerrard's Rangers side went unbeaten on their way to winning the SPL last season

Gerrard’s Rangers side went unbeaten on their way to winning the SPL last season

Gerrard scored more goals against Villa than any other team in his playing career

Gerrard scored more goals against Villa than any other team in his playing career

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