Aston Villa have confirmed the appointment of former England captain Steven Gerrard as their new manager.
Gerrard joins from Scottish champions Rangers, where he enjoyed success in his first senior management role, leading them to to the title unbeaten last season.
He succeeds Dean Smith, who achieved hero status by taking Villa back into the Premier League and keeping them up but had struggled to arrest a decline in form.
“Aston Villa is a club with a rich history and tradition in English football and I am immensely proud to become its new head coach,” Gerrard said.
“In my conversations with [Villa owners] Nassef [Sawiris], Wes [Edens] and the rest of the board, it was apparent how ambitious their plans are for the club and I am looking forward to helping them achieve their aims.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everybody associated with Glasgow Rangers for giving me the opportunity to manage such an iconic football club.
“Helping them secure a record-breaking 55th league title will always hold a special place in my heart. I would like to wish the players, staff and supporters the very best for the future.”
Gerrard’s first match in charge of Villa will be at home to Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday 20 November. He takes his new side to former club Liverpool on 11 December.
Villa chief executive Christian Purslow, an executive at Anfield during Gerrard’s days as Liverpool skipper, said he was “delighted” to be reunited with the 41-year-old.
“Since moving into coaching after his illustrious playing career, Steven began by managing and developing top young players in the Liverpool FC Academy which is experience we value highly at Aston Villa,” Purslow added.
“He then took the brave decision to test himself in the intense and high pressured environment of the Scottish Old Firm. His subsequent achievement in winning the Premiership title with Glasgow Rangers really caught our eye as did his experience in Europe.
“It has been very clear in our discussions with him that Steven’s coaching ambitions, philosophy and values entirely match those of Aston Villa.”