With Aston Villa finishing the Premier League season in a disappointing 14th place, it hasn’t exactly been the start that Steven Gerrard would have wanted when he took the reins last November, arriving from Rangers after he had revived the Glasgow club’s fortunes.
There has been some positives along the way, though, especially in the transfer market. The 41-year-old reunited with former Liverpool team-mate Philippe Coutinho, signing the Brazilian on a permanent deal from Barcelona after he impressed on loan in the Midlands.
Transfer insider Dean Jones has claimed that the Villa manager wants to get his top targets into the club before pre-season.
The journalist told GIVEMESPORT: “I think that he wants that sorted before they get to pre-season so that he’s got the base and the spine of his team there. So, then he can work around and add a couple of little flair players or bits and pieces that can finish off the job.”
Villa supporters will be delighted to hear that, much like at Rangers, Gerrard wants to have his incoming transfer business sorted as soon as possible to give players the best chance of bedding into the squad well before the start of a new season.
With Coutinho, Carlos and Boubacar Kamara already added to the Villa squad for next term, the 41-year-old doesn’t appear to be stopping there.
Interest in Rangers defender Calvin Bassey could enhance their defence, and a move for another former Anfield team-mate in Luis Suarez could be a massive move due to his tremendous scoring record and the chance to land him on a free transfer from Atletico Madrid.
Potentially adding these two players after the business that Gerrard has already done could be vital in terms of Villa challenging for a European spot next season, which must be their aim.
There is certainly no shortage of backing from Johan Lange, and if the manager gets it right, Villa could be a force to be reckoned with next season.