Gerrard appointed head of Aston Villa

Aston Villa is the first Premier League club that Steven Gerrard has managed

Aston Villa appointed Steven Gerrard as manager on a three-and-a-half-year contract, ending his three-year reign with the Rangers.

The 41-year-old former Liverpool captain leaves the Scottish champions after leading them to a first league title in 10 years last season.

Gerrard replaces Dean Smith, who was fired on sunday after a streak of five successive defeats.

Villa is ranked 16th in the Premier League, two points above the relegation zone.

“Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become their new head coach,” said Gerrard.

“In my conversations with Nassef [Sawiris], Wes [Edens] and the rest of the board, it was evident how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their goals. “

Gerrard took his first steps into senior management with Scottish Premiership Rangers in 2018, leaving them four points clear of rivals Celtic at the top of the table.

He played 710 times for Liverpool, won nine trophies and spent a season in MLS’s LA Galaxy in 2015 before retiring as a player the following year.

He trained at Liverpool’s youth academy before leading the Under-18 team during the 2017-18 season.

Gerrard is England’s fourth most capped player with 114 international appearances, in which he scored 21 goals.

‘A special place in my heart’ – goodbye to the Rangers

Steven Gerrard stats chart as Rangers coach
Steven Gerrard’s stats as Rangers coach

Gerrard joined the Rangers in May 2018, signing an initial four-year contract before agreeing to a new contract until 2024 the following year.

In his first season in charge, he led the Rangers to their first win over Celtic since 2012, finishing the league campaign nine points behind their city rivals, and they also finished second in the 2019-20 season.

The following season saw Gerrard win his first silver medal as a coach, the Rangers went undefeated as they lifted the Scottish title for the 55th time, finishing 25 points clear of Celtic.

They also equaled Celtic’s 107-year clean sheet record and won back-to-back Old Firm derbies.

After that title win, Gerrard said the Rangers were a club that had “got him.”

Speaking after his departure, Gerrard said: “I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to lead such an iconic football club.”

“Helping them achieve a record-breaking 55th league title will always hold a special place in my heart. I would like to wish the players, staff and fans the best for the future.”

More to follow.

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