Steven Gerrard has already given verdict on three Aston Villa stars amid job links

Arteta praises Smith Rowe after win over Aston Villa

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Aston Villa’s sacking of Dean Smith on Sunday came as a surprise to many given how well the Villains performed last season. Yet despite links to various managers including Frank Lampard, Paulo Fonseca and Roberto Martinez, the current Rangers manager Steven Gerrard is clear favourite with most bookies. Express Sport takes a look at three Villa stars Gerrard is clearly fond of.

John McGinn

McGinn joined joined Villa from Hibernian in 2018 after some stellar performances in the Scottish capital.

With Gerrard managing in Scotland, there is always a reason for him to keep an eye on the national team’s talents.

And the Liverpudlian praised McGinn for his quality back in 2019.

“And John McGinn is your power, your runner and goal threat,” Gerrard said after a Scotland national team game.

“The balance between the three (midfielders) made sense and that’s why it was a success.”

Ashley Young

Young rejoined Villa last summer after leaving for Manchester United in 2011.

A winger in his time at Villa Park, he has slowly transitioned to a full-back with age catching him up.

And an interview with Gerrard has resurfaced, praising the former United man for his versatility.

“He’s so valuable to (Jose) Mourinho because he can play in four or five positions,” Gerrard said on BT Sport two years ago.

“I think give him credit. He’s earned the manager’s trust because he was one you might have thought would have been moved on when Mourinho first came in.

“But he’s worked hard, knuckled down and matured.”

Danny Ings

Ings moved to Villa from Southampton in the summer for £30million, using up a huge chunk of Dean Smith’s transfer kitty.

Once a player for Gerrard’s beloved Liverpool, he praised Ings shortly before his move from Burnley was a formality.

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“The Ings one I’m really excited about because he can be what he wants to be – I know the talent’s there, he’s very young, he’s fresh,” Gerrard said back in 2015.

“For me, the supporters just need to be patient with him, he’s still very young and I’m sure he’ll get eased in gently.

“He might be the type of player that needs that bigger club and does thrive on the pressure.

“He’s certainly got the platform there at one of the best clubs in the world to showcase his talents.”

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