Steven Gerrard snags former Liverpool standout as Aston Villa assistant | Soccer

Blackpool v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship

Neil Critchley takes the next step in his career (Image: Getty Images)

Neil Critchley has given up his role as Blackpool manager to join Steve Gerrard Aston Villa as assistant head coach.

Gerrard knows Critchley from his time at Liverpool, where he joined the Reds as Under-18 manager in 2013 and rose to Under-23 boss in 2017 before moving to Blackpool in 2020.

He enjoyed great success in his first senior manager role, rising from League One in his first season in charge before finishing a very respectable 16th in the league last season.

He has decided to leave Bloomfield Road and accept Villa’s offer to become Gerrard’s assistant in his first senior Premier League position, hoping to further build on his growing reputation as a talented manager.

Blackpool owner Simon Sadler said of Critchley’s departure: “Neil has been a consummate professional since arriving at Blackpool and really understood what this club and town is about. He built strong relationships with the staff, players and supporters and gave us all some special memories.

“Obviously we are disappointed to lose him but we thank him for everything he has achieved during his time at Bloomfield Road and wish him all the best in the Premier League with Aston Villa.

‘Our focus now is on succession planning and making the best appointment possible to continue to advance our great club.’

This comes just a day after Villa confirmed the signing of centre-back Diego Carlos from Sevilla, with the Brazilian excited to join the Premier League.

Club Atlético de Madrid vs Sevilla FC - La Liga Santander

Carlos has joined Villa on a four-year deal (Image: Getty Images)

“I’m really happy because the Premier League is one of the best competitions,” said the 29-year-old. “I always want to do my best for the club and the shirt I wear.

“Even now I can’t believe I’m here because competing in the Premier League is a dream,” he added. “And now I have a very clear chance. I hope to give 100% my best and do my best.”

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Liverpool FC Steven Gerrard snags former Liverpool standout as Aston Villa assistant | Soccer

Nate Jones

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