By Mark Smith

22nd Mar, 2022 | 11:30am

Aston Villa: Gerrard could fix line-up problem by fast-tracking Tim Iroegbunam into first team

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has struggled to find a solid and reliable presence at the base of his
midfield ever since Marvelous Nakamba went down with a knee injury just five games into his reign.
Tim Iroegbunam made his Premier League debut in the final minutes of Villa’s 2-0 win at Brighton last month and earned praise from his manager, showing he could yet be the long-term answer at Villa Park.
Gerrard said: “He’s deserved that since the day I came in. He’s got a fantastic profile for a No.6.”
Iroegbunam stands more than six feet tall and possesses a physical presence that has been lacking in
the Villa midfield.
The midfielder recently signed a long-term deal tying him to the club until 2027 and looked assured
during his brief cameo on the South Coast.
Signed from neighbouring West Brom last summer, Iroegbunam figures to be a project for Gerrard
and his coaches whom they can groom into the anchor of Villa’s midfield. Now maybe the time to
commit to his development.
Data from Aurel Nazmiu recently showed Villa to have a next to zero per cent chance to do anything except finish mid-table this season and the Midlands side are also eliminated from all cup competitions.
Brazilian Douglas Luiz has been tasked with deputising for Marvelous Nakamba over the last three
months, but is not a natural defensive midfielder and there have also been rumours he could leave
the club in the summer.
Against that backdrop, it would make sense for Gerrard to invest match minutes into Iroegbunam in
an effort to fast-track his development as the potential solution for what has long been a weakness in
the Villa line-up.