Steven Gerrard factor comes into play as pundit predicts Aston Villa transfer activity

Steven Gerrard factor comes into play as pundit predicts Aston Villa transfer activity

Pundit Alex McLeish reckons Steven Gerrard’s arrival could have big consequences for Aston Villa in the January transfer window.

The Liverpool legend, 41, has come in to replace boyhood fan Dean Smith. He was sacked on November 8 following five successive Premier League defeats, and has since taken over at Norwich City.

Gerrard’s main aim is to take Villa back into the top six. Appearing at his first press conference on Thursday, the manager said: “Success is always about winning football matches. Long term the club would like to be back at the European level. It’s about focusing on the short term which is Brighton [on Saturday] and getting back to winning matches.”

Gerrard takes over a side which is low on confidence but full of talent. He will have forwards Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins at his disposal, as well as Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey just behind.

Finland midfielder Glen Kamara, who played under Gerrard at Rangers, is a target for the new boss. His value currently stands at just £5.4million, as per Transfermarkt.

During an interview with Football Insider, former manager McLeish made some exciting predictions.

Asked if Gerrard would tempt some big names to Villa Park, he said: “I believe that would have a bearing.

“I also do believe there are many players, whether in England, the UK, Europe or the world, Steven Gerrard will be looking to enhance his team in certain ways.

“They’ve got no shortage of analysis or knowing players available in the world.

“As we’ve seen, they have spent money. They’ll certainly look to back him. Steven will possibly be looking not at five or six players. One player can make the difference.”

The first game of the new era will see Villa host Brighton on Saturday afternoon. They then travel to Crystal Palace next weekend.

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Plenty of reports have suggested that Gerrard could go back to Anfield in the next few years.

But he was quick to slam those claims, instead focusing all of his attention on the Villans.

“I don’t think this press conference should be about any club but Aston Villa,” he said.  “We have to show respect to our supporters. Everyone knows what Liverpool means to me, but my focus and commitment is very much on Aston Villa.

“I said last week that I’m all in, and I can promise our supporters that’s the case.”

Villa CEO Christian Purslow added: “We were lucky enough to have numerous applications, and for Steven to come through is a fantastic moment in our club’s history.

“I think Steven’s arrival will reignite the club and push us forward. Playing in Europe is something that is an exciting dream for our fans. What Steven has promised is continual improvement in our team.”

READ MORE: Euro giant arrives to steal Aston Villa striker target as ‘informal talks’ held

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