Aston Villa has appointed Blackpool manager Neil Critchley as Steven Gerrard’s assistant for next season. He will replace Michael Beale who decided to take up his first job as Queens Park Rangers manager. Critchley helped Blackpool back to the Championship in 2021 during his first full season in charge. He then helped them to a mid-table finish last season on their return. Critchley was part of the Liverpool academy in 2013 when Gerrard was the captain. He led the U18s and U23s before taking charge of the senior side on two occasions in the 2019/20 season.

“Neil has been a consummate professional ever since arriving at Blackpool and really bought into what this Club and Town are all about. He has built up strong relationships with the staff, players, and supporters and made some special memories for us all,” Blackpool owner Simon Sadler said after Neil Critchley joined Liverpool. “Naturally, we are disappointed to lose him but thank him for all that he has achieved during his time at Bloomfield Road and wish him well in the Premier League with Aston Villa. Our primary focus now turns to succession planning and making the best possible appointment to continue taking this great Club of ours forward.”

“Neil Critchley was my number one choice when looking for a new assistant head coach,” Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard said. “He is a fantastic coach who I have obviously worked with before and know his qualities. We look forward to welcoming him to Aston Villa.”

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