Pundit questions Aston Villa motives over manager certain to take job

Dean Smith Aston Villa boss

Kevin Phillips feels Rangers manager Steven Gerrard would ‘definitely consider’ taking over at Aston Villa but sees no reason for Dean Smith to leave.

Gerrard has written his name into Rangers folklore by ending Celtic’s nine-year stranglehold on the title. The Gers have already claimed the spoils north of the border. They are 20 points clear of Glasgow rivals Celtic with just four games to go. And Gerrard’s charges have yet to lose a match – with immortality beckoning if they can remain unbeaten.

Unsurprisingly, the former England captain’s work at Ibrox has seen him linked with a number of clubs. Having played all his English domestic football with Liverpool, it seemed obvious the Reds would come calling.

And the 40-year-old confessed last month that there had been ‘a little’ interest from Anfield. However, Gerrard backed current manager Jurgen Klopp to continue in his post for many years to come.

A return to Merseyside may well be the former LA Galaxy star’s long-term goal. But he might well have to cut his teeth in the Premier League at another club.

Last week Football Insider revealed that Villa Chief executive Christian Purslow has a “strong interest” in recruiting Gerrard.

Former Villa striker Phillips seemed bemused that the West Midlanders would be looking to change their manager after a solid campaign. But he believes it would be a no-brainer for Gerrard to take the job, if offered.

He told football Insider: “I’m very surprised that Gerrard’s been mentioned while Dean Smith is still there, they’re doing very well this season, why would you even look to replace him?

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“It’s a big challenge for Stevie to come to Villa and what could he do that Smith can’t do?

“At Rangers, he has a bright future but at the moment, Smith is a safe pair of hands for Villa. If that job was made available then Gerrard would definitely consider it I’m sure, because we all know Aston Villa are a big club in world football.”

Villa the perfect start for Gerrard in England?

Villa are nicely stationed in mid table, with 44 points from 30 games played. They now seem established back in the top flight after three seasons in the Championship.

Smith has done an excellent job but the fans, when they return, will demand even more. With Gerrard in the dugout, expectations would be extremely high.

Steven Gerrard Rangers manager

But it would be an excellent chance to gain experience managing in England before the inevitable switch to the north west.

READ MORE: Dean Smith declares what Villa ‘deserved’ at Liverpool; clarifies Luiz issue