Steven Gerrard is on the lookout for a new midfield enforcer after Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba was ruled out for around four months.
The new Villa boss has been a big fan of the 27-year-old, starting him in his first five games in charge. But the Zimbabwe international was forced off just before the hour mark in the defeat at Liverpool. And he has been ruled out for between 12 and 16 weeks with a knee problem.
That has led to suggestions that Gerrard will look for a replacement and the Daily Mirror claim he has been given “the green light” to draft in a replacement next month.
Gerrard said: “The surgeon is really happy with his operation and how it’s gone and now he’ll start his recovery process and recovery plan.
“He’s going to be missing for somewhere in the region of 12 weeks if it is a fantastic rehab. Or it could be up to 16 weeks.
“It will be somewhere in the middle of 12-16 weeks.”
The former Rangers boss is understood to have discussed potential targets with Villa’s sporting director Johan Lange. Whether or not Villa will go down the loan route or a permanent signing is unclear.
Gerrard though is understood to have been pledged support in the transfer market from Villa co-owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens when he replaced Dean Smith.
Villa spent £100m in the summer, but Gerrard is understood to have funds to add to his squad next month.
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“In terms of the January window, there’s obviously conversations at Villa and there always will be behind the scenes identifying areas where we can improve,” said Gerrard.
“If the right person or bodies are there for us to bring in then we’ll certainly look to try and do that. But, obviously, there’s a lot of names being bandied about at the moment which we can’t control that are not true.”
According to the Birmingham Mail, Gerrard also wants more cover at full-back. There has been a huge reliance on Matt Targett and Matty Cash this season.
One player who is believed to be on Gerrard’s radar is Rangers full-back Nathan Patterson.
Gerrard spoke very highly of the 20-year-old during his time at Rangers. And last month 90min claimed Gerrard was lining up a move for the player.
Everton made a reported £5m opening offer for Patterson in August. The bid left Gerrard furious.
“Look, I’ve only just been told about this. It hasn’t been brought to my attention by anyone who’s above me at the club.
“I’ll ask the question when I go back on the bus. But if you’re going to talk about Nathan Patterson you need to get real.
“£5m is, I don’t know, that’s definitely come out of a joke book surely.”