Steven Gerrard has demanded Aston Villa sell a current forward in January, with a report hinting a sale could free up funds to sign mid-season recruits.
The Liverpool legend is enduring a difficult stretch at the Aston Villa helm. Gerrard’s side are struggling to score, with their seven goals the Premier League’s joint-second fewest this season.
Nottingham Forest have also plundered just seven goals. Only Wolves – who recently sacked manager Bruno Lage – have scored fewer (four).
The heat is rising on Gerrard who boasts a paltry 34.2 win percentage from his first 38 matches in charge. His record prior to today stands at 13 wins, eight draws and 17 defeats.
With Chelsea coming to town on Sunday afternoon, Villa may find themselves in the relegation zone if other results go against them before this weekend is out.
Football Insider claimed discussions have taken place among the Villa hierarchy regarding Gerrard’s position. They claim the club’s owners Naseef Sawiris and Wes Edens are concerned at the lack of progress in Gerrard’s 11 months in charge.
The cut-off point for a decision one way or another is reported to be around the time domestic football gives way to the World Cup. The final Premier League match before Qatar takes centre stage is on Sunday, November 13.
Now, the same outlet report Gerrard is still planning for the future given he’s urged the club to axe Bertrand Traore in January.
Writing on the wall for Traore
The Burkina Faso international, 27, is currently on a season-long loan with Turkish side İstanbul Başakşehir. Traore was a £17m signing from Lyon in 2020, though has never earned Gerrard’s favour.
Football Insider state Gerrard has ‘told Aston Villa to accept a permanent offer’ for Traore in January – if one is made, of course.
Gerrard doesn’t see a future for Traore at Villa Park and as such, sees no need to delay the inevitable. What’s more, it’s hinted selling Traore would free up funds Gerrard could reinvest in new recruits in winter.
What positions Villa would target isn’t suggested in the piece. However, given Douglas Luiz recently signed a new contract, it’s unlikely to be in midfield.
Instead, centre-back could be addressed with summer signing Diego Carlos ruled out for the long term with an Achilles injury.
Additionally, a new attacking option may be on the agenda in lieu of their bluntness in the final third.
Gerrard doesn’t lack for options in that department. Indeed, a corps of Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings, Philippe Coutinho, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey looks strong on paper.
However, Gerrard has been unable to get a tune out of those players and new blood may be required if a relegation scrap is still looking likely.