This summer marks Gerrard’s first full season at Villa Park and all eyes will be on a big improvement to last. To do that, the manager remains committed to bringing in elite-level operators and, here, we take a look at how each department of Gerrard’s squad could change next season.
Emi Martinez will be Villa’s first-choice goalkeeper next season, that’s a given. Sweden’s No.1 Olsen, meanwhile, is hopefully the next permanent addition through the doors at Villa Park with Gerrard wanting that very deal to happen.
We all witnessed what happened on Sunday at the Etihad where City just needed to turn on a switch to score three inside six minutes. That alarmed Gerrard and, looking ahead, the likes of Matty Cash, Digne, Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa and Calum Chambers will all be retained.
Gerrard has already acted swiftly and decisively to bring in Kamara from Marseille on a free transfer amid strong interest from Atletico Madrid. John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey will remain key players for Villa next term, while Marvelous Nakamba and Tim Iroegbunam will be retained as back-up options.
In attack, Coutinho, Emi Buendia, Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins will once again be big players next season. A decision will be made over whether Cameron Archer will remain at Villa Park with another loan move in the offing. Luis Suarez, as we know, remains an option for Gerrard who has admitted to wanting more experience in the final third amid a series of missed chances last season.
Goalkeepers: Emi Martinez, Robin Olsen , Viljami Sinisalo
Defenders: Matty Cash, Kaine Kesler Hayden, Ezri Konsa, James Tarkowski , Tyrone Mings, Diego Carlos , Calum Chambers, Lucas Digne, Aaron Hickey .
Midfielders: Boubacar Kamara, Marvelous Nakamba, Tim Iroegbunam, Jacob Ramsey, John McGinn, Yves Bissouma , Douglas Luiz.
Forwards: Emiliano Buendia, Philippe Coutinho, Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings, Leon Bailey, Luis Suarez