Since he was announced as the new Rangers boss in 2018, it has seemed a matter of time until Steven Gerrard got his chance at a Premier League club.
Today, Aston Villa confirmed that the former England and Liverpool captain had been appointed as their new manager – replacing Dean Smith after his sacking earlier this month.
It’s an appointment that, given Gerrard’s stature, is likely to turn heads across the country but in the Championship, Nottingham Forest and Stoke City may be two clubs that feel the impact of it in a few months time.
The Athletic revealed last month that unless the Premier League club suffered injuries to attacking players before the end of the year, Villa forward Keinan Davis would be allowed to leave the club in the January transfer window.
Steve Cooper looks in need of some more firepower at the City Ground, with no player other than Lewis Grabban scoring more than three goals this term, and Davis’ versatility means he could be useful in a number of roles.
Stoke, meanwhile, are the lowest scorers in the Championship’s top seven and have got just two goals from summer signing Sam Surridge, which may mean Michael O’Neill looks to bolster his forward options when the transfer window reopens in less than two months’ time.
However, Gerrard’s arrival could well scupper the potential plans of the two second-tier clubs by offering Davis another chance to impress at Villa Park.
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The Villa academy product had been part of Smith’s plans in previous seasons but as the report last month highlighted, he was deemed excess to requirements and therefore a player that was available to be sent out on loan.
The arrival of a new manager doesn’t change the fact that the West Midlands club have got plenty of attacking talent but Gerrard will likely be keen to assess his new squad himself and Davis could prove to the former England international that he’s a player worth keeping around for the second half of the 2021/22 campaign.
If he does that then Forest and Stoke can wave goodbye to a January loan move.