Three Aston Villa stars in line for January exits as Steven Gerrard plots overhaul

Anwar El Ghazi Aston Villa

Three Aston Villa stars are being considered for January transfers as Steven Gerrard looks to overhaul his squad, according to reports.

When the 41-year-old was appointed on November 11, it was inevitable that players from his former club Rangers would soon be linked. Finland midfielder Glen Kamara was the first, having been a reliable performer during Gerrard’s three-year spell at Ibrox.

And pundit Kevin Phillips reckons the 26-year-old would be a hit in the Premier League, while a transfer ‘wouldn’t surprise’ him.

Left-back Borna Barisic is also a target for Gerrard and Villa. The Croat made 50 appearances during Rangers’ Invincibles campaign, registering five goals and 14 assists. He could be brought in to rival Matt Targett.

Gerrard’s major plans could see a few well-known stars leave Villa Park this winter. Football Insider write that Anwar El Ghazi is one man who could be sold.

The winger has scored just once in the Premier League this term. He has been struggling for game time ever since the summer arrivals of Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia.

Villa reckon they could get some decent money for the two-time Netherlands international. He has previously been looked at by Jose Mourinho of Roma.

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The second player who is in line for a January exit is Bertrand Traore. He cost Villa £17m in September last year but has never been a consistent performer. The West Midlands outfit want to recoup most of the fee they paid for him, although it will ultimately depend on the demand.

The final player who may leave is Egyptian forward Trezeguet. He has been out since April with an ACL injury and will only be available to feature near the end of the campaign.

The report states that Villa will look to move two of those three stars on. One will be kept around in the interests of squad depth, and is most likely to be El Ghazi.

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Gerrard salutes Aston Villa predecessor

Following the recent league victory over Crystal Palace, Gerrard said: “We can’t get carried away. It has been a positive couple of weeks. The players have been fantastic in their application. We had to dig in at times today but we managed to get over the line which is nice.

“There was great work before we came in. Dean Smith had done an impressive job before and the performances in the five games before probably didn’t warrant five defeats.

“We’ve had to put a lot of information across in a short of period of time and there are still little tweaks to make.

“We have got an impressive set-piece specialist at Aston Villa and his job is to identify weaknesses in the opposition side. The players deserve all the credit for going and implementing [Targett’s] goal.

“I have been lucky and blessed enough to play at a high-level. I’ve wanted to grow and take information with me, in terms of shape and how you look out of possession. Hopefully in time people will see that identity and philosophy come across. It is a real big step to take six points from six.”

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