Pundit expects Villa response as Gerrard aura to quell worrying trend

Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins celebrate Aston Villa goal

Former Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor insists players not pulling their weight on the pitch are in for a rude awakening under new manager Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard is the man Villa bosses have turned to after opting to part company with Dean Smith. Smith paid the price for a dreadful run of form that has seen five consecutive top-flight defeats. The Villans began their campaign in decent form but were 16th in the standings heading into the international break.

The West Midlanders were woeful in Smith’s final game in charge. They lost 1-0 to Southampton and winger Leon Bailey was criticised by pundits for not tracking back at St Mary’s.

Gerrard was a tough taskmaster in his playing days with Liverpool and England. And Agbonlahor is adamant Bailey and his team-mates will not be spared the rod.

“If I am a player now at Aston Villa I walk in and I see Steven Gerrard in the meeting room, then I am in awe of him,” he told talkSPORT, per HITC. “One, from his playing days. Iconic England and Liverpool midfielder. I just think he’s going to get more out of these players. You are going to work harder for Gerrard.

“He’s not going to let Leon Bailey not track back like he did against Southampton and get away with it. If you do, then you are going to come and sit next to me.

“I think he is going to bring that discipline into the team.”

Gerrard expected to strengthen Villa ranks

Villa brought in several new players with the money they received from Jack Grealish’s move to Manchester City. Emiliano Buendia, Dany Ings and Bailey were three big-money signings.

Steven Gerrard to raid old club Liverpool for trio

Steven Gerrard's first act on transfers in January is to reportedly raid old club Liverpool for a trio of bit-part players, with more news on the Reds pursuit of Dusan Vlahovic and Franck Kessie.

However, Gerrard will have his own ideas and has already been linked with a few players. Unsurprisingly, rumours that he will look to raid former club Rangers are doing the rounds.

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The Daily Record suggest midfielder Glen Kamara is on the radar. The 26-year-old is keen on a spell in the Premier League.

He has been a key part of the Gers’ success under Gerrard and a reunion might be on the cards. The second player under consideration is Ryan Kent. The former Liverpool winger took giant strides in Glasgow.

Steven Gerrard Rangers manager pictured outside Ibrox

The 25-year-old, who has been linked with Leeds United, would provide Gerrard with versatility in his attacking ranks. He is capable of playing both wide and centrally.

READ MORE: Pundit reveals burning question Klopp will ask Gerrard to improve Liverpool