With the appointment of Rangers gaffer Steven Gerrard, following the departure of former head coach Dean Smith, Aston Villa fans have had plenty to discuss and chew over during November’s interruption break and with the 41-year-old now in place, it was almost inevitable that we’d be linked with a potential January move for at least three of his former charges.
Upon taking the Rangers job Gerrard instantly returned to Liverpool to bring in attacking midfielder Ryan Kent on a loan spell, and then subsequently made the deal permanent the next summer for a reported £7.5million. Gerrard has relied heavily on Kent in his three seasons in Scotland, with the player making 129 starting appearances and ten substitute showings. Across those games he’s chipped in with 28 goals, mainly featuring on the left hand side of attack.
Another key player for Gerrard in the Rangers set up was Glen Kamara. Kamara moved from Dundee for an undisclosed fee in the January 2019 window and has gone on to feature 112 times, with a further 11 appearances off the bench and the 26-year-old Finland international has contributed five goals from the midfield position. There has previously been some reported interest from Villa in the player, with some talk of us not following through with a £6million in the summer.
Finally, we have old reliable Alfredo Morelos. The temperamental 25-year-old Colombian international has been regularly linked with Villa over the past few transfer windows, so this one was only a matter of time.
Granted they have been top players for Gerrard in the Scottish Premiership and between them, there is international experience and European experience shared around, but I’m not so sure any of the three would be an upgrade on what we have. Morelos is a powder keg waiting to go off and we already have Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings and the emerging Cameron Archer. I can’t imagine we’d be looking for yet another winger/wide attacker, so that should rule out Kent, and although many of us have been screaming out for a more dyed in the wool defensive midfielder, Kamara would still be a massive punt given his career to date.
With Gerrard bringing in his team of coaches, it could be easily argued he doesn’t need to return for a player or two to help him stamp his authority and manner onto the squad anyway. Given what I’ve seen of the three players, I can’t say I’d be that upset if they arrived (as long as we didn’t pay through the nose for them), but by the same token I can’t say I’d be that excited by them either, as again, I don’t see proven improvement on what we already have, so short of a bit more squad depth (bar Kamara, in positions we don’t really need more depth) I’m not sure where they’d fit in.