Seven players Aston Villa need to get rid of, including Danny Ings, Douglas Luiz and Ezri Konsa

The appointment of Steven Gerrard was one that excited Aston Villa fans but recent results have left some supporters concerned. A cull is needed.

It took Gerrard three years to turn Rangers into Scottish champions, but on the back of four wins in his first six games - the other two being tight defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool - fans of Villa were expecting their transformation to be much quicker.

Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho was signed on loan alongside the permanent deal of highly-rated full back Lucas Digne. The Gerrard influence was already clear to see.

Philippe Coutinho

However, despite initial brilliance from Coutinho, Villa have slumped to four successive Premier League defeats, including a recent 4-0 thumping at the hands of Tottenham and sit 12th.

While a top-ten finish is still a possibility, one thing that is for certain is that Gerrard will be making a number of changes in the summer.

Planet Sport indentifies the players he needs to jettison to turn Villa into European candidates.

Ashley Young

Ashley Young

Young has made 22 appearances after being signed on a free in the summer and will more than likely start the final seven games at left-back with Digne ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.

Young is a free agent in the summer but is open to staying for another season.

Villa are interested in bringing in teenager Aaron Hickey from Bologna and although Matt Targett is set to move on in the summer, paying a 37-year-old back-up left-back close to £3million a year is not money well spent. 

Ezri Konsa

Ezri Konsa

The Newham-born centre-half stunk the place out against Tottenham and according to reports, faces an uncertain future at Villa.

Signed from Brentford by Dean Smith in 2019, he was tipped for an England call-up last season. However, he has failed to reproduce that form in the current campaign.

With Arsenal and Tottenham apparently in the hunt, Villa should cash in while they can. Forty-one goals conceded from 25 matches and two red cards is not the solid platform you want to build a team on.

Danny Ings

Danny Ings

Ings' shock £25million move from Southampton promised much but has delivered little.

One of three players signed to replace Jack Grealish (the other two being Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia), Ings notched 22 Premier League goals in 2019/20 and added another 12 in 2020/21.

However, five goals in 24 league games for Villa is a poor return, even taking into account injury disruptions. The biggest problem, though, is that he doesn't gel with fellow forward Ollie Watkins.

The former Burnley striker has been linked with a move away from Villa and a swap deal with Brighton's Yves Bissouma looks to make sense for all parties.

Leon Bailey

Leon Bailey

Signed for around £30million, Bailey is another summer addition who has failed to live up to his price tag.

The Jamaican international has a great first touch and terrifies defenders with his blistering pace but unfortunately, he is injury prone. He has completed a full 90 minutes just twice and has failed to produce a goal or an assist since October.

Will Villa get their money back on the former Bayer Leverkusen winger? No. But sometimes, clubs just need to cut ties with certain players and Bailey is one of those regardless of how good he could be when fully fit.

Douglas Luiz

Douglas Luiz

'Dougie' joined Villa from Manchester City after they won promotion back to the Premier League in 2018/19.

There have been times where he has showed glimpses of quality but he is too inconsistent. If Villa want to progress then they need the perfect foil for John McGinn in the middle of the park. Luiz is not that man.

With Arsenal reportedly interested, Villa could even make a profit on the player. They should snap their hands off.

Morgan Sanson

Morgan Sanson

After an impressive start to the 2020/21 campaign, Villa added Sanson in the January, signing him from Marseille for £14.5million. 

A gritty midfielder who could do the hard yards, Sanson was brought in to push Villa on into Europe.

A knee injury out paid to that and the Frenchman suffered a recurrence at the start of this season. Since regaining his fitness, appearances have been fleeting under both Smith and Gerrard which means one thing - he isn't trusted to deliver. Reports suggest he is free to leave Villa in the summer. He won't be missed.

Anwar El Ghazi

Anwar El Ghazi

The Dutchman, who scored the winning goal in the 2019 Championship play-off final, underwhelmed in his first campaign in the Premier League. However, last season it appeared he had turned things around with 10 goals in 28 appearances.

The additions of Bailey and Buendia in the summer saw him drop down the pecking order and in January he joined Everton on loan.

The 26-year-old has fared little better for game-time under Frank Lampard though, making just two appearances.

Even if the Toffees don't want to hang on to him, considering Gerrard sanctioned his loan move to Everton, he is not long for Villa.

READ MORE: Premier League captains 2021/22: From Liverpool's committee to the ever-presents

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