Steven Gerrard has left Rangers to become Aston Villa's new manager

Gerrard has signed a deal that ties him to Villa Park until 2024 – which coincidentally is when Jurgen Klopp’s contract expires at Anfield.

FD56BnkWUAAyja3 Villa confirmed Gerrard's appointment on Thursday morning. Source: Aston Villa FC

STEVEN GERRARD IS the new manager of Aston Villa.

The club confirmed the announcement via twitter just before 10am this morning. Gerrard replaces Dean Smith who was sacked last week. Villa will pay Rangers €3.55  million (£3m) in compensation.

The implications of the move are multiple. Aside from the impact it will have on the Scottish title race – where Gerrard’s presence had re-energised Rangers – it will also have ramifications not just in Villa Park but also Anfield.

Gerrard is viewed as the long-term successor for Jurgen Klopp but doubts about his inexperience persisted, despite the fact he did a fine job at Ibrox, ending Celtic’s bid for ten titles in a row.

Now in the Premier League again – this time as manager after a glittering career as a player – Gerrard has the opportunity to prove himself at a higher level than the SPL. He takes over a team that has lost its way and also lost Jack Grealish, its talisman, last summer.

Work starts straight away. Gerrard met the Villa board for talks yesterday and agreed to join. Compensation then was worked out between the two clubs with Gary McAllister, Gerrard’s assistant, also poised to move. Their joint deals take them up until 2024 when Klopp’s contract is due to expire at Anfield. Both Gerrard and McAllister will be in the dug-out for Saturday’s game between Villa and Brighton.

Villa’s CEO, Christian Purslow, said: “The Board of Aston Villa are delighted to appoint Steven as our new Head Coach.

“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.

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“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.”

Gerrard added: “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.”

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Garry Doyle

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