Steven Gerrard has been confirmed as the new manager of Aston Villa. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Following the sacking of Dean Smith as Aston Villa manager last week, the English Premier League club have now appointed Rangers boss Steven Gerrard as their new coach on a three-and-a-half year deal.

Villa had the current international break to make their move for the 41-year-old and a deal has been agreed with his former employers. His first match in charge will be on 20 November against Brighton.

"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," said Gerrard.

"In my conversations with [co-owners] Nassef [Sawiris], Wes [Edens] 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."

Five defeats

Smith was sacked following a run of five consecutive defeats and it is thought that the arrival of Gerrard can spark the team to life. Villa are 16th in the Premier League, two points above the relegation zone.

Gerrard revitalised Rangers and won the Scottish title in 2021 and many tip him to eventually take charge of Liverpool. He played 710 times for the Reds and won nine trophies before retiring as a player in 2016. He joined Rangers in May 2018 as coach and had a contract until 2024 but made it clear he wanted to join Villa and the board did not stop him. Villa have paid Rangers £4.5m in compensation.

The move to Villa is being seen as some as a stepping stone for his return to Anfield in the future.