Aston Villa have announced the appointment of Steven Gerrard as their new manager, with the Liverpool legend waving goodbye to Rangers for a return to the Premier League.
The Villans parted ways with Dean Smith earlier this month after he oversaw a run of five league defeats on the bounce to leave the West Midlands club hovering above the relegation zone in 16th position.
Gerrard was Villa’s No 1 target to fill the vacancy, with the club’s owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, as well chief executive Christian Purslow impressed by the job Gerrard, 41, has done at Ibrox, his first in management.
‘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,’ Gerrard told the club’s official website.
‘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.’
Gerrard won the Scottish Premiership title last term, breaking Celtic’s sequence of nine in a row and going the entire league season unbeaten, and although he has shown fierce loyalty to the club, he has decided to embrace the challenge on offer at Villa Park. Rangers have been paid £2.5million in compensation.