Steven Gerrard says he has joined an “ambitious” club after he was confirmed as the new head coach of Aston Villa.
The former Liverpool and England captain has left Rangers to take charge of the Premier League side on a reported three and a half year contract.
Gerrard arrives in Birmingham with his stock high, having made the Glasgow club champions of Scotland for the first time in a decade.
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“Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become its new Head Coach,” said Gerrard.
“In my conversations with Nassef, Wes and the rest of the Board, it was apparent how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their aims.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everybody associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to manage such an iconic football club. Helping them secure a record-breaking 55th league title will always hold a special place in my heart. I would like to wish the players, staff and supporters the very best for the future.”
Gerrard inherits a side which is just two points above the relegation zone and his first game in charge will be a home match with Brighton and Hove Albion, before fixtures against Crystal Palace, Manchester City, Leicester and boyhood club Liverpool.
Villa CEO Christian Purslow says they have appointed a manager who can take the club to the next level.
“Since moving into coaching after his illustrious playing career, Steven began by managing and developing top young players in the Liverpool FC Academy which is experience we value highly at Aston Villa,” said Purslow.
“He then took the brave decision to test himself in the intense and high pressured environment of the Scottish Old Firm. His subsequent achievement in winning the Premiership title with Glasgow Rangers really caught our eye as did his experience in Europe.
“It has been very clear in our discussions with him that Steven’s coaching ambitions, philosophy and values entirely match those of Aston Villa.”
Gerrard appears to have left Rangers on good terms, after a hugely successful spell at Ibrox, with the chairman Douglas Park heaping praise on the former midfielder.
“I would firstly like to put on record my thanks to Steven for his outstanding efforts over the last three-and-a-half years at Rangers,” he said.
“He has provided us all with some unforgettable moments, not least his delivery of the Scottish Premiership title back to Ibrox last season having not lost a match in the entire league campaign.
“In European competition, he has restored the good name and credibility of our club on the continent and leaves us in a very healthy position on the pitch.”
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