By Emmanuel Okogba
Steven Gerrard has made a sensational return to the Premier League with his appointment as the new head coach of Aston Villa.
The two-and-half-year deal will see him replace Dean Smith who parted ways with the club on Sunday after a run of five successive league defeats, with Villa 16th in the table.
Gerrard, 41, guided Glasgow Rangers to the Scottish Premiership title last season, finishing the campaign undefeated in the league.
Gerrard speaking on his appointment said: “Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become its new Head Coach.
“In my conversations with Nassef, Wes and the rest of the Board, it was apparent how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their aims.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everybody associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to manage such an iconic football club. Helping them secure a record-breaking 55th league title will always hold a special place in my heart. I would like to wish the players, staff and supporters the very best for the future.”
Club CEO, Christian Purslow described Gerrard as having an ambition and philosophy that matches those of the West Midlands club.
“The Board of Aston Villa are delighted to appoint Steven as our new Head Coach”, Purslow statement on the club’s website reads
“Since moving into coaching after his illustrious playing career, Steven began by managing and developing top young players in the Liverpool FC Academy which is experience we value highly at Aston Villa.
“He then took the brave decision to test himself in the intense and high pressured environment of the Scottish Old Firm. His subsequent achievement in winning the Premiership title with Glasgow Rangers really caught our eye as did his experience in Europe.
“It has been very clear in our discussions with him that Steven’s coaching ambitions, philosophy and values entirely match those of Aston Villa.
“We are excited he has agreed to lead us in the next phase of our ambitious plans as we look to build on the progress made since Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens took over the club in 2018.”