Aston Villa’s sacking of Dean Smith on Sunday came as a surprise to many given how well the Villains performed last season. Yet despite links to various managers including Frank Lampard, Paulo Fonseca and Roberto Martinez, the current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is clear favourite with most bookies. Express Sport takes a look at three Villa stars Gerrard is clearly fond of.
McGinn joined joined Villa from Hibernian in 2018 after some stellar performances in the Scottish capital.
With Gerrard managing in Scotland, there is always a reason for him to keep an eye on the national team’s talents.
And the Liverpudlian praised McGinn for his quality back in 2019.
“And John McGinn is your power, your runner and goal threat,” Gerrard said after a Scotland national team game.
“The balance between the three (midfielders) made sense and that’s why it was a success.”
Young rejoined Villa last summer after leaving for Manchester United in 2011.
A winger in his time at Villa Park, he has slowly transitioned to a full-back with age catching him up.
And an interview with Gerrard has resurfaced, praising the former United man for his versatility.
“He’s so valuable to (Jose) Mourinho because he can play in four or five positions,” Gerrard said on BT Sport two years ago.
“I think give him credit. He’s earned the manager’s trust because he was one you might have thought would have been moved on when Mourinho first came in.
“But he’s worked hard, knuckled down and matured.”
Ings moved to Villa from Southampton in the summer for £30million, using up a huge chunk of Dean Smith’s transfer kitty.
Once a player for Gerrard’s beloved Liverpool, he praised Ings shortly before his move from Burnley was a formality.
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