Aston Villa have announced the appointment of Steven Gerrard as their new manager, with the Liverpool legend set for a return to Anfield next month.
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 took to Instagram to explain his decision to leave Ibrox, with Gers fans disappointed that he has left the Scottish club after three years in Glasgow.
I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone associated with Glasgow Rangers, especially the fans, for the love and support you’ve all shown me during my time in Scotland,’ he posted.
‘Winning “55” will always hold a special place in my heart – each and every one of you played a part in that and, believe me, there will be many more to come.
I hope in time you can understand and accept my decision to move on but I honestly fell in love with the club and will always follow the team. Once a Ranger, always a Ranger #55’.