Arteta praises Smith Rowe after win over Aston Villa
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Steven Gerrard’s impending move from Rangers to Aston Villa has taken a huge step forward to being completed, with Birmingham Live stating that a deal could be completed within the next 24 to 48 hours to end a successful three-year spell in Glasgow for the Liverpudlian.
Smith was sacked after five Premier League losses in a row, including an embarrassing 3-2 home defeat to Wolves despite being 2-0 up late on.
Having led Villa to promotion from the Champonship in the 2018-19 season, a last-day survival in their first season back saw Smith spend big on young players in the summer of 2020.
Ollie Watkins, Matty Cash, Bertrand Traore and Emiliano Martinez all joined Jack Grealish’s virtuoso to make Villa a feared outfit.
And despite narrowly missing out on a top-half finish, more money was pumped into Villa’s coffers to do the same again this season – although the with the club languishing in 16th, Smith has been shown the exit in place of Gerrard after failing to make use of resources.
He was sacked by Villa on Sunday, and the Midlands side have acted quickly to bring in Gerrard in less than a week, according to the Birmingham Mail.
The report states that a deal is all but done, as Gerrard finalises his backroom staff to take from Glasgow to England’s second city.
An announcement is reportedly set to be made in the next 24 to 48 hours, if not sooner.
With the international break about to get underway, the deal will give Gerrard plenty of time to assess his squad before leading them into the treacherous winter break.
And if he keeps the club in the Premier League, the draw of a huge transfer kitty and a chance to prove himself in the Premier League should be an exciting prospect for the ex-England midfielder.
Gerrard took over Rangers in the summer of 2018, and has become their most successful manager in over a decade after ending bitter rivals Celtic’s nine-year dominace of the Scottish Premiership title.
A 10-in-a-row of the top-flight had never been done before, and with Rangers’ liquidation in 2011, it seemed Celtic were in the home straight to complete the feat under Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon.
But Gerrard’s tactically astute management style halted their progress, giving Rangers fans much to celebrate about.
His progress has been monitored by many around the UK as one of England’s best up-and-coming managers, prompting Villa to make a move for the Liverpool legend.
It is yet to be seen whether he will sign any Rangers players in the January window as he looks to make his mark on English football for the first time in his managerial career.
Villa sit just two points ahead of the relegation zone, and with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all to play before the new year, Gerrard will need to quickly implement his tactical nous at Villa Park if he is to drag the club out of the relegation scrap.
His first game will come at home to Brighton on November 20 should the deal be completed.
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