Steven Gerrard has been announced as Aston Villa’s new manager, deciding to leave Rangers and return to the Premier League.
The Liverpool legend sealed his first job in the England top flight, replacing Dean Smith, and signed a three-and-a-half-year contract at Villa Park.
Gerrard spent three years at the helm of Ibrox where he transformed the fortunes of the Glasgow club and ended their long wait for the Scottish Premiership title.
The former midfielder moved to Scotland for his first managerial position in 2018 after a stint as an academy coach at the former club Liverpool.
Rangers have enjoyed a brilliant rise under the young manager’s leadership and were crowned Scottish Champions for the first time in a decade, as they finished last season unbeaten.
The Gers now have the difficult task of replacing Gerrard with a coach who can continue their form and help them retain their title.
A slew of names are being hinted at as potential replacements for the 41-year-old, with one name in particular in mind.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst is set to take the job at Ibrox after being out of work since leaving Chinese Super League team Guangzhou R&F in December.
The Dutchman remains a popular Rangers figure after spending three years at the club as a player before leaving for Arsenal in 2001.
Another of the Scottish club’s former players, Russell Martin, is one of the main contenders for succession following his impressive stint at the helm of Swansea.
The name of former Aberdeen coach and former Rangers midfielder Derek McInnes has also been thrown in the ring.
But more interestingly, former Chelsea teammates John Terry and Frank Lampard are also on the list.
Terry recently left Villa – where Gerrard has now taken the helm – from his role as assistant manager in order to become a full head coach.
Lampard, meanwhile, was often compared to Gerrard as a player and the comparisons would follow them into the dugout if he took control of the Rangers.
Here are the best candidates in full, according to SkyBet. Odds correct at time of writing Thursday, November 11.
- Giovanni van Bronckhorst – 1/1
- Russell Martin – 4/1
- Derek McInnes – 5/1
- John Terry – 8/1
- Frank Lampard – 14/1
- Alex Neil – 12/1
- Slaven Bilic – 16/1
- Gary McAllister – 16/1
- Dean Smith – 20/1
- Ducan Ferguson – 20/1
Gerrard paid particular tribute to Rangers when speaking of his new role, but said he was “immensely proud” to be handed the reins of one of the most historic clubs in English football.
“Aston Villa are a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am extremely proud to become their new head coach,” he said.
“In my conversations with Nassef, Wes and the rest of the board, it was evident how ambitious their plans were for the club and I look forward to helping them achieve their goals.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to manage such an iconic football club.
“Helping them win a 55th league title, a record, will always hold a special place in my heart. I wish the players, staff and supporters the best for the future. “
You can hear Gerrard’s first game at the helm of Aston Villa, against Brighton, live and exclusively on talkSPORT on Saturday 20 November.