Just four days after sacking Dean Smith, Aston Villa appointed Glasgow Rangers manager Steven Gerrard as their new manager.

Steven Gerrard - Aston Villa
Steven Gerrard left the Glasgow Rangers to join Aston Villa. (Image: avfc.co.uk)

The 41-year-old Gerrard spent three-and-a-half years at Ibrox. He ended a 10-year-long title wait for Rangers in 2021, winning the Scottish Premier League following an undefeated season. Gerrard was approached by Villa on Monday, with talks accelerating over the past 48 hours. On Wednesday, he was at -1000 to become the new boss at Villa Park, with bookies confirming an imminent deal.

On Thursday, Villa made Gerrard’s appointment official through a club statement.

“His achievement in winning the Premiership title with Glasgow Rangers really caught our eye as did his experience in Europe,” Villa CEO Christian Purslow said. “It has been very clear in our discussions with him that Steven’s coaching ambitions, philosophy and values entirely match those of Aston Villa,” the official added.

Glasgow Rangers confirmed Gerrard’s departure on Thursday morning.

“Gerrard leaves Rangers with the club top of the Scottish Premiership with a Premier Sports Cup semi-final to look forward to and the opportunity to qualify yet again for the knockout stages of the Europa League still in the team’s own hands,” the statement reads. “Rangers Football Club would like to put on record their thanks to Steven and his staff and wish them every success in the future.”

Villa has agreed to pay Rangers $4 million in compensation for Gerrard’s release.

Gerrard takes over in troubled times

The former midfielder finds Aston Villa in 16th position in the Premier League, just two points above the relegation zone. Villa lost its previous five Premier League games.

“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,” Gerrard said. “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,” the Liverpool legend said.

Gerrard started his coaching career in 2017 in Liverpool’s youth teams before being appointed the Glasgow Rangers’ manager in June 2018.