Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Premier League • England

Steven Gerrard to complete Aston Villa clear-out with third star facing axe

Aston Villa forwards Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traore warming up

Steven Gerrard will look to shift on yet another forward in the summer as he seeks to revamp the entire Aston Villa front line, claims a report.

The forwards department at Aston Villa has experienced great change in the last six months. Jack Grealish joined Man City for a British record £100m fee. Villa wasted little time replenishing the ranks, with Danny Ings, Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia all arriving.

However, Dean Smith’s sacking ensured the changes would not stop there, especially when Steven Gerrard was announced as the new manager.

The Liverpool legend pulled strings to bring Philippe Coutinho to Villa Park in January. Given his impressive start, it’s no wonder Villa have been tipped to turn his loan spell permanent.

However, Gerrard set in motion plans to clear out who he believed were the deadwood in his forward line.

Anwar El Ghazi joined Everton on loan, while Trezeguet moved to Turkey with İstanbul Başakşehir – also on loan.

Bertrand Traore next to go

But according to Football Insider, Gerrard also wanted to axe Burkina Faso winger, Bertrand Traore.

They state Gerrard made it a ‘priority’ to shift the club’s weakest options in attack. Two of three he sought to shelve departed, but Traore remained.

The 26-year-old has barely featured this season amid a spate of injuries. But had he been fit, it’s unlikely he would’ve racked up many minutes anyway.

Arsenal number one target this summer is Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa

Arsenal number one target this summer is Douglas Luiz from Aston Villa

Douglas Luiz is Arsenal’s prime target this summer as Aston Villa willing to let him go

His participation in AFCON muddied the waters when seeking to find a buyer in January. However, the report states Villa ‘will look to sell’ Traore in the summer. Either a permanent exit or loan spell away would reportedly suffice.

Traore arrived from Lyon in a deal worth £17m in 2020. Given his age and the fact his contract doesn’t expire until 2024, Villa may be able to recoup much of their initial outlay if a permanent buyer can be found.

Steven Gerrard to capitalise on Klopp snub with Liverpool raid?

Meanwhile, Liverpool defender Joe Gomez continues to be overlooked by Jurgen Klopp, and Steven Gerrard has been tipped to capitalise by bringing him to Aston Villa, per a report.

The 24-year-old centre-back has been relegated to a distant fourth-choice following Ibrahima Konate’s arrival this season.

Klopp recently confirmed Gomez was now injured when absent from the matchday squad against Leicester last week. Instead, the German opted for just one centre-back on the bench, choosing Konate. That same scenario unfolded again for the trip to Turf Moor on Sunday.

Now, according to Daily Mail journalist Tom Collomosse, Gomez’s fall down the ranks could see Aston Villa pounce.

Speaking to GiveMeSport, Collomosse reckons a Gomez switch to Villa will be reignited in the summer after tenative links were reported in January. The journalist stated signing a “top class” centre-half is a priority for the club, and Gomez is one to “keep an eye on”.

“I think he looks like that ideal type of player to go into somewhere like Villa at the end of the season,” said Collomosse.

“They’re looking for a top class centre-back and although he’s still improving in some ways, Joe Gomez is an England international, Premier League champion and played in the best competitions.

“I think that’s definitely one to keep an eye on for the summer.”

READ MORE: Aston Villa masterstroke facing ruin with Arsenal and West Ham ‘extremely interested’ in transfer hijack