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Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa targeting two key positions to reinforce in January



Steven Gerrard is expected to delve into the January transfer market in search of two players.

That’s according to a recent report from Football Insider, who claims the Villians’ new boss has identified a new centre-back and defensive midfielder as priority positions.

Gerrard, 41, was unveiled recently as the club’s new manager following the recent sacking of Dean Smith.

Since the ex-Liverpool captain’s arrival back in the Premier League following a hugely successful managerial stint in Scotland with Rangers, fans have been keen to see how the 41-year-old performs in such a big role.

Although Aston Villa’s owners are some of the Premier League’s wealthiest, their first-team squad lacks cutting edge talent – especially since former star man Jack Grealish moved to Manchester City in a British record £100m transfer this summer.

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In an attempt to provide the side with an injection of quality, it has been reported Gerrard, along with the club’s recruitment team, are likely to pursue a new defender and midfielder.

Steven Gerrard is unveiled as Aston Villa’s new manager.

Although no specific names are mentioned the same outlet also notes that the side’s new manager believes his squad is ‘unbalanced’, especially when it comes to wide-attackers, and would therefore welcome the sale of Bertrand Traore.

CaughtOffside’s Verdict

Aston Villa currently sits 15th in the Premier League table and will be deeply concerned by their early disappointing form.

However, confidence in Gerrard will be high after the former Rangers boss got off to a 2-0 winning start in his first game against Brighton and Hove Albion and when it comes to midfield talent – given how vital Gerrard was to Liverpool during his playing days, Aston Villa will probably feel they have the right man for the job when it comes to identifying central talent.

Nevertheless, with the Premier League being one of the most demanding leagues in world football, if a team is to have a successful campaign, it goes without saying that a strong squad with quality in depth is essential.

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Michael Carrick hints at positional change for previously out-of-favour midfielder




Last Sunday saw Manchester United bid farewell to former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and that decision could be set to benefit midfielder Donny van de Beek the most.

An abysmal accumulation of results over the last few weeks, including a 5-0 hammering against Liverpool and a 4-1 thrashing to Watford, eventually sealed Solskjaer fate with the Red Devils opting to part ways with the Norwegian.

Now set to move in a new direction, Manchester United are reportedly close to confirming German mastermind Ralf Rangnick as the side’s new interim manager, before a permanent appointment can be made at the end of the season (Sky Sports).

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However, while the last pieces of paperwork, including the signing of contracts, is finalised before Rangnick makes his move to Old Trafford, former assistant manager Michael Carrick will remain in charge for the time being.

Donny van de Beek has barely featured for Manchester United since joining over 12-months ago.

With the Red Devils’ next Premier League match scheduled to take place on Sunday against Thomas Tuchel’s high-flying Chelsea, although they’ll be major underdogs, all the pressure will still be on the ex-midfielder to set up his side in order to remain competitive, at the very least.

Speaking ahead of the mouth-watering clash, which is set to take place at Stamford Bridge, Carrick hinted that there could be a big change in store for midfielder Donny van de Beek.

“Because he’s so flexible,” Carrick told reporters (as quoted by MEN). “He can play in different positions.

“He did the same for Ajax and he’s done that for Holland as well.

“We’ve got ideas for him but being flexible is a strength and a credit to what he can bring.”

Having joined Manchester United last summer following a move from Ajax, van de Beek’s time under Solskjaer was largely spent on the sidelines.

Starting just four Premier League matches under Solskjaer, prior to the Norwegian’s sacking, van de Beek’s time at Old Trafford looked almost certain to be coming to an end.

However, after starting against Villarreal earlier this week under Carrick’s guidance, the Dutch midfielder appears to have been handed an unlikely lifeline.

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Spurs midfielder could leave in January as form hits all-time low




Despite being handed a lifeline by new manager Antonio Conte, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele has failed to take his opportunity and now looks set to leave the club in the near future.

That’s according to a recent report from the Express, who speculate Dele could be one of the first major casualties under Conte.

The English playmaker was given a rare start during Tottenham Hotspur’s recent Europa League group stage match against Mura.

However, failure to have any significant impact on the match saw the midfielder hauled off just after the halftime break before his teammates went on to lose 2-1.

MORE: Man United reach agreement with Lokomotiv Moscow to sign Ralf Rangnick

Although under contract until 2024, there is now mounting concerns that Dele may struggle to feature under Conte again anytime soon.

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