By Noel Whelan

12th Nov, 2021 | 1:42pm

Whelan delivers Aston Villa verdict after 'exciting' news confirmed

Steven Gerrard can “showcase his managerial talents” by inspiring a turnaround at Aston Villa, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 41-year-old will “command the respect” of Claret and Blue stars.

Gerrard was confirmed as the new manager at Aston Villa yesterday (November 11th) after the sacking of Dean Smith earlier this week.

Speaking to club media, the Liverpool legend said he is “looking forward” to helping Villa achieve their “ambitious plans” over the coming years.

Aston Villa sit just two points outside of the Premier League relegation zone after losing their last five games.

Their defensive woes will be Gerrard’s chief concern, having conceded the third-most top-flight goals this season (20).

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“It’s a great opportunity, and probably one that Steven couldn’t turn down,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“It will be bitterly disappointing for Rangers, but he’s left them in a really healthy position, and he’s been recognised for his great work at Ibrox.

“This is an exciting time for Villa. He’s someone who will come in and really command the respect of the players along with his excellent backroom staff.

“When you look at the squad, the stadium, training facilities, and the history of the club – this is a move which will allow him to showcase his managerial talents in the hardest league in the world.

“Everyone will be looking forward and watching closely to see if he can be a success at Aston Villa”.

The former England international’s first game in charge of Aston Villa will be against Brighton on November 20th.

Gerrard won his first trophy as a manager last season, securing the Scottish Premiership title with Rangers.

In other news, Aston Villa in advanced talks to land four more major deals.