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Aston Villa: Gerrard must axe Anwar El Ghazi amid West Ham interest

With Aston Villa having secured a deal to bring Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho to the club, they could now have the opportunity to get one of their current players out of Villa Park during the current transfer window.

Since Steven Gerrard took over from Dean Smith back in mid-November, Anwar El Ghazi has found game-time hard to come by, with just three substitute appearances under his belt since the 41-year-old’s first game in charge in their 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion a couple of months ago.

This suggests that Gerrard doesn’t rate him particularly highly, certainly not highly enough to start a league game anyway.

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Villa originally signed the winger on a loan deal from Lille back in 2018 before securing him on a permanent basis a year later.

Overall, the 26-year-old – who is currently valued at £9m by Transfermarkt – has made 118 appearances for the Midlands club across all competitions, chipping in with 26 goals and 16 assists along the way.

In Villa’s previous game against Brentford which saw them blow a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1, Gerrard started with Bertrand Traore and chose to put Trezeguet on instead of El Ghazi, who remained an unused substitute, which shows where the Netherlands international is in the current pecking order.

However, with the 26-year-old predominantly playing on the left wing this season and Emiliano Buendia having a solid game against the Bees, this could explain why Gerrard didn’t call upon El Ghazi on this occasion.

Earlier this month, it was reported that fellow Premier League club West Ham United were interested in signing the Dutch winger.

Should Villa get rid of El Ghazi this month?

Yes

Yes

No

No

When he has been given the chance to play, El Ghazi’s performances in the league haven’t been particularly impressive, with WhoScored giving him an overall rating of 6.33/10, making him one of the lowest-rated Villa players to start more than one league game this season,

Taking into account his lack of game-time under Gerrard as well, it could be worth Johan Lange getting rid of the 26-year-old this month, especially now that Coutinho will be looking for game-time throughout the remainder of the season.

Having been labelled a “nightmare” to come up against in training by former Villa defender Alan Hutton, El Ghazi could be better off being a nightmare at another club such as West Ham if he would be guaranteed regular playing time there.

In other news: Gerrard could unearth the next Drogba at Aston Villa with swoop for £7.2m-rated prodigy

Article title: Aston Villa: Gerrard must axe Anwar El Ghazi amid West Ham interest

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