Gerrard Addresses Ismaila Sarr and the Transfer Window
By Oscar Webster
With less than one week to go before the transfer window slams shut, pressure is mounting on Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa to finalise any last additions to a squad perhaps looking for inspiration for the season ahead.
“We’re trying to explore one or two different situations to try and add to the group,” declared, Gerrard, at his press conference, ahead of the visit of West Ham to Villa Park
“If we want to make signings, they have to be right in a lot of areas. If they’re not we won’t hesitate in going in a different direction.”
The cautious approach has the duality of only buying to improve the first XI and to avoid haphazard spending or last-minute panic buys. However, the clock is ticking…
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Gerrard was coy when it came down to the breakdown of signing Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, a deal that appeared to be heading to completion, but unexpectedly falling through.
“We’ve moved forward,” said Gerrard, sharply. “Fantastic player you’re talking about and we wish him well.”
When asked to explain why the move fell through, Gerrard guardedly responded: “I don’t think I have to elaborate on my answer.”
“I’ve told you if we want to make signings here, it has to feel right,” asserted the gaffer.
Despite the deal appearing essentially complete, it looks as if what exactly happened will remain a mystery. Gerrard at least admitted, Villa did still have some irons in the transfer fire.
“We’re trying to explore one of the two different situations to try and add to the group,” he said.
“We’re not close on anything at the moment.”
If Villa do fail to get anyone in before the transfer window closes, attention will turn to getting a better return from a talented and expensively assembled group, that, in short, has been under-performing.
“We’ve got a lot of talent, lots of ability in the group, but that doesn’t guarantee consistency,” said Gerrard, who is increasingly been seen by some fans, as the reason why the team has short-comings.
Gerrard reminded the fans to trust the process, keep expectations at bay and to look at the bigger picture in his Aston Villa project.
“There’s still a lot of work to do but you won’t do that overnight,” said the boss.
“What we don’t want to do is collect players. I inherited a large group.”
It would be fair to say that following a January window, as well as a full summer and pre-season that the squad at the manager’s disposal is increasingly his own. With this in mind it’s clear to see why some fans have become agitated following a less than ideal start to the campaign, when you couple it with how last season ended.
Are Gerrard’s doubters being realistic?
Mikel Arteta at Arsenal had been under fire from sections of their fanbase, but patience and realism has been rewarded this season, with a team that seems to have clicked into place.
A positive result against West Ham, will certainly help Gerrard to focus on the job ahead, without needing to look over his shoulder too much.