Aston Villa CEO Christian Purslow has hinted the arrival of Steven Gerrard as manager may prompt a change of policy regarding mid-season transfer business.
Gerrard replaced Dean Smith at the Villa Park helm after club bosses ran out of patience with the former boss. A solid start to the campaign gave way to five consecutive top-flight losses and the board took action. The former Liverpool and England star inherited a squad boosted by several summer signings.
The likes of Emiliano Buendia, Danny Ings and Leon Bailey arrived while Ashley Young returned on a free transfer. And his reign has started on a positive note, with back-to-back victories.
A 2-0 triumph over Brighton was followed by Saturday’s 2-1 success away at Crystal Palace. The Eagles have been in excellent form but goals by Matt Targett and John McGinn sealed the points.
Jack Grealish’s summer switch to Manchester City was always going to have an effect on the team. But they managed to use some of his £100m transfer fee to strengthen the squad.
There are still funds available for Gerrard to make further additions. Villa are not a club who are usually too active in the January window.
But Purslow believes they need to adapt to the situation, suggesting the new boss may dip into the coffers early next year.
“Everybody knows January is not a month in the market which is particularly easy to navigate, in the ordinary course of business, actually, I wouldn’t have expected us to be active at all,” he told the club’s official website.
“But if there is one consequence of mid-season managerial change, it’s that new managers often have slightly different systems, slightly different biases, in terms of types and profiles of players they are looking for.”
Gerrard focused for Villa success
Gerrard’s successful stint in charge of Rangers prompted the Villans to seek him out. Critics immediately took aim at the ex-England skipper.
There were suggestions he just would use the Villa experience to prepare himself for the Liverpool manager’s job. The 41-year-old was quick to put those rumours to bed.
It seems as though he is already planning for the new year, with links to Rangers duo Glen Kamara and Borna Barisic.
And a report in the Sunday Mirror suggests he is also keen to sign Liverpool defender Joe Gomez. The 24-year-old has played just 13 minutes of league football in 2021-2022 and needs game time to boost his England chances.
Gerrard feels he has a talented group of players at his disposal. But the powers-that-be will back him whenever he feels it necessary to make signings.
“Steven has been very clear in meetings with myself and the owners, and even publicly last week, that we have a phenomenally exciting, broad and deep first team squad – and a very valuable one,” Purslow added.
“It’s entirely possible he wants to make adjustments to that, possibly by January, possibly by next summer, we’ll see.”