Neil Critchley has left his role as Blackpool manager to join Steve Gerrard at as assistant head coach.
Gerrard knows Critchley from his time at Liverpool, joining the Reds as Under-18 manager in 2013 and moving up to Under-23 boss in 2017 before leaving for Blackpool in 2020.
He has had great success in his first role as a senior manager, earning promotion from League One in his first season in charge, before finishing a very respectable 16th in the Championship in the season just gone.
He has decided to leave Bloomfield Road and take up Villa’s offer to be Gerrard’s assistant in his first senior Premier League position, hoping to continue to develop his growing reputation as a talented coach.
Blackpool owner Simon Sadler said of Critchley’s departure: ‘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.
‘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.’
This came just a day after Villa confirmed the signing of centre-back Diego Carlos from Sevilla, with the Brazilian thrilled to join the Premier League.
‘I am really happy because the Premier League is one of the best competitions,’ said the 29-year-old. ‘I always want to do the best for the club and the shirt I’m wearing.
‘Even now I can’t believe I’m here because it’s a dream to compete in the Premier League,” he added. “And now I have a very clear opportunity, I hope to give it 100% my best, and to be able to play to the best of my ability.’
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