Steven Gerrard is hoping to lure Rangers starlet Leon King to Aston Villa
According to transfer news on Birmingham Mail (h/t Yorkshire Evening Post), Steven Gerrard is eyeing Rangers ace Leon King as his first Aston Villa signing. The teenager has burst through the ranks of the Scottish Premiership side and is already performing at a high level.
King was promoted in 2020 from the U-18 side to the development squad of the club. He is yet to feature regularly in the senior team but has often played in the Challenge Cup and the UEFA Youth League. However, he is already linked with an exit as Steven Gerrard wants to bring his former disciple to Aston Villa.
Will King leave Rangers so soon? Is this the right call by Steven Gerrard?
Gerrard is eyeing young targets to build a sustainable future for Aston Villa
The 17-year-old has only made 6 appearances this season and is honing his talent as a centre-back. Last season, Gerrard gave him his debut in the Scottish Premiership play-offs while the youngster also featured in the League Cup. His progress has been there for all to see, and he could reach closer to his full potential in a couple more years.
Gerrard is targeting the right profile of players. He already has good knowledge of the player and is aware of the strengths of his new team. The Villa Park outfit already possess Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, Kortney Hause, and Axel Tuanzebe in their backline. However, the latter has been signed on loan and is bound to return to Manchester United at the end of the season, as things stand.
This leaves options for young stars to come in and compete for a first-team spot. King is an exciting prospect and could flourish even if he spends a couple of seasons on the bench at a Premier League side. Gerrard would surely be aiming to take the Villans towards European football, and if recent results are any evidence, he could succeed with that this season.
The games will eventually increase if they participate in European competitions. This will require squad depth, and even if they don’t make Europe, King could play a vital part in domestic cup tournaments. The player needs the right coaching and development, and Villa being a solid Premier League club, could offer that to him.
Aston Villa need to complete a deal for Leon King quickly
King is talented, and his stock is rising. It is thought that he could be signed for £200k, which is a reasonable amount for a young star. However, Villa need to jump ahead and finalize this deal quickly as several other clubs are also eyeing a deal for the teenager.
Manchester United, Leicester City, and Newcastle United are eager on a move for the centre-back. The Red Devils have the prestige to bring him to Old Trafford, while Leicester have excelled in promoting youngsters to the first team under Brendan Rodgers. Newcastle United have the financial clout to sign the best talents in the continent after their recent takeover.
Thus, there is heavy competition for the centre-back. Aston Villa fans would hope that Gerrard’s past involvement with the player becomes a factor in any potential negotiations. And it would also be fair to suggest that King would get minutes under Steven Gerrard if he does sign a deal.
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With Kortney Hause in the final months of his contract, it would make even more sense to sign the teenager if the former ends up departing the club in the summer.