Aston Villa: 183-game duo could make Villa Park exit

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard ‘will be looking to strengthen’ out wide ahead of next season, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The retired England midfielder arrived in the Midlands in November and was backed in the winter window, but further acquisitions are expected when the market reopens for business.

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Gerrard wasted no time in making his mark on the first-team squad at Villa Park, bringing in Lucas Digne from Everton via a £25 million deal and securing the services of Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona.

However, Villa’s results have been rather underwhelming despite some moments of genuine quality and promise.

Following a recent defeat to local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, Gerrard stated that he would be prepared to bring in players to help him ‘fix’ the club’s current predicament if the current crop can’t turn their fortunes around.

“At the moment, we are looking like a 45-minute team and that is on me,” said the 41-year-old tactician. “I’ve got to fix it and I will fix it.

“The players here have to help me now for the next eight games and if not, we’ll get players who will help me fix it.”

What has O’Rourke said about Aston Villa?

As well as bringing in Digne and Coutinho, Gerrard also showed the likes of Matt Targett, Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet the exit door on a temporary basis.

The trio joined Newcastle United, Everton and Istanbul Basaksehir on loan, respectively, and O’Rourke believes the latter two, who have racked up 183 games for Villa, will most likely ‘move on’ permanently in the summer.

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He told GiveMeSport: “Villa are probably going to lose a couple of wingers in the summer with El Ghazi out on loan at Everton and Trezeguet out on loan in Turkey.

“So, that’s two wingers who the club will most likely look to move on. So, it’s going to be an area that Steven Gerrard will be looking to strengthen as well.”

Do Villa need to strengthen out wide?

Villa brought in Leon Bailey and Emiliano Buendia in big-money moves totalling over £60m, but their returns have not justified such a significant outlay.

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In total, the duo have registered just three goals and six assists in a combined 46 appearances across all competitions, highlighting their ineffectiveness in the final third of the pitch.

Therefore, Gerrard may well target such much-needed additional firepower out wide ahead of next term as he looks to guide his side up the Premier League table.

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