Aston Villa have moved quickly to replace Steven Gerrard with Unai Emery drafted in from Villarreal for a dramatic Premier League return.
Gerrard was sacked following a 3-0 defeat to Fulham on Thursday after a dreadful start to the season in the West Midlands. His spell at Villa Park and been up and down and discontent was growing with a resounding defeat at Craven Cottage the final straw for the Liverpool legend.
He was shown the door less than a year after leaving Rangers and his temporary replacement Aaron Danks led them to a convincing 4-0 win over Brentford at the weekend. But any hopes the Englishman had of keeping the job for longer have quickly been squashed with former Arsenal boss Emery arriving from Villarreal.
The Spaniard is a renowned figure in European football despite his underwhelming spell at the Emirates having won the Europa League four times – including with Villarreal in 2021. A Villa statement reads: “Aston Villa is delighted to announce the appointment of Unai Emery as the club’s new head coach. Unai joins from Villarreal, whom he led to Europa League success by beating Manchester United in the final in 2021 as well as the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.
“A highly experienced top level coach who has managed over 900 games, Unai has also previously managed in the Premier League during a spell with Arsenal, leading the Gunners to a Europa League final.
“He has also enjoyed notable success at Sevilla and at Paris Saint Germain. In Seville, he won three successive Europa League titles between 2013 and 2016 before going on to lift a Ligue 1 championship in France as well as two French Cups, two French League Cups and two Trophée des Champions.