Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard wants 'Champions League level players'

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard wants to ‘bring in Champions League level players’ to the club during the summer transfer window, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The English tactician has already begun to make his mark on the first-team squad he inherited from Dean Smith in November and more changes are expected when the market reopens for business.

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Gerrard’s reign at Villa Park has got off to a promising start after overseeing eight wins and two draws from his opening 18 Premier League games at the helm.

And 41-year-old also demonstrated his pull in the transfer market by attracting Barcelona attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho to the club on loan and former Everton defender Lucas Digne on a permanent basis.

Villa also have the option to buy Coutinho for £33 million following the conclusion of 2021/22 and the duo’s arrivals could be an indication of the calibre of player Gerrard hopes to attract going forwards.

Between them, Digne and the Brazil international have made over 70 appearances in Europe’s elite cup competition, and they’ve already showcased their class in claret and sky blue.

In just 10 top-flight outings, Coutinho has registered four goals and three assists for the Villans, while Digne set up the only goal in a 1-0 victory against his former side to earn a precious three points.

What has Jones said about Aston Villa?

Jones has revealed that Gerrard is not content with just signing two players who have played on the biggest stage, though, and that he wants to continue his transfer policy on a ‘major basis’.

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He told GiveMeSport: “So, he’s got high standards, and if he’s going to bring in Champions League level players, which is what he wants, he knows that that’s got to be on a major basis.

“It can’t just be one or two because those players need to have that quality around them.”

Who could Aston Villa sign?

One player who Villa have been heavily linked with who has bags of Champions League pedigree in Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez.

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According to The Athletic’s Gregg Evans, Gerrard ‘will monitor’ the veteran striker’s situation at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium closely over the summer ahead of a potential move.

Suarez is out of contract in a few months’ time and is expected to be available on a free transfer, meaning Villa could sign a Champions League-winning player for nothing.

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