Steven Gerrard was appointed the brand new Aston Villa manager during the international break after Dean Smith was sacked following three years at Villa Park due to a run of bad form with the side losing five games consecutively.
Gerrard is already making an impact in his short time with the club so far, as he guided the side to their first win in a handful of matches against Brighton last weekend and will be hoping to continue his confident start.
Dean Smith has also got a new job as Norwich manager, where he was appointed late into the international break, and has had a great start in his first fixture as the Canaries boss, with a 2-1 win over Southampton at the weekend, that gave them a crucial three points as they sit at the bottom of the Premier League table.
The former Villa boss has been tipped to dip into his old club’s squad to strengthen his own team, with former Villa player, Gabriel Agbonlahor speaking to Football Insider. Responding to whether Smith will take a look at some of the players from his time at Villa, he said:
“Conor Hourihane would be a good one.
“But it’s all going to depend on where Villa are. If results don’t go Villa’s way then they’re not going to let players go to a team that is also fighting relegation.
Aston Villa are expected to make moves in the upcoming transfer window as Johan Lange has confirmed the club are “identifying players” to add to the side in an attempt to avoid the drop into relegation in the second half of the season;
“I think we’re always working every day of the year to identify players with the potential of coming in to strengthen Aston Villa.
“We will work closely (with Steven) over the next six weeks to analyse the situation and we will be well prepared as we always are, if we find it is relevant to go into the market in January.”
If Smith did come to take some of the fringe players off the hands of Gerrard, it could really help to boost funds for the new manager to add the players he wants into the team. That’s without asking too much of the board to provide the funds or to have potential signings put on hold, especially in such a fragile time for Aston Villa where a relegation battle is quite possible.
Secondly, it might give Villa an advantage in freeing up space on the wage bill, something that will certainly help when it comes to the freedom of signing new recruits.
Gerrard will be hoping to relieve more pressure off the Villans this weekend in their fixture away at Selhurst Park, with another three points to push them further away from any relegation worries leading up to the New Year. At that point, their former boss might just be able to give them a hand in the market.
In other news: Gerrard handed double injury boost before Palace clash