Steven Gerrard keen to keep Robin Olsen at Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard is keen to keep goalkeeper Robin Olsen at Villa.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen stands dejected after conceding a third goal, scored by Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan during the Premier League match at The Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Sunday May 22, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire...RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications..
Aston Villa goalkeeper Robin Olsen stands dejected after conceding a third goal, scored by Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan during the Premier League match at The Etihad Stadium, Manchester. Picture date: Sunday May 22, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Man City. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire...RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications..

Olsen spent the second half of the campaign on loan from Roma, making his only appearance in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Manchester City.

The 32-year-old Sweden international impressed Gerrard with his performance and having become a popular figure at Bodymoor Heath, he is seen as the ideal challenger to No.1 Emi Martinez.

Talks are now expected with Roma over a permanent deal with Olsen, who has a year remaining on his contract with the Italian club, valued at around £3million.

Gerrard said: “Robin is more than capable of challenging Emi (Martinez). We’re hoping to maybe get some progress on that one moving forward.”

Gerrard, meanwhile, believes Villa delivered a statement of intent with the signing of midfielder Boubacar Kamara.

The 22-year-old's capture was confirmed just hours after the completion of the Premier League season and Gerrard thinks he has precisely the kind of talent required to take the team to the next level next term.

Kamara, who will officially join when his contract at Marseille expires next month, has recently received his first senior call-up for France.

Gerrard said: “He’ll certainly make our team and our squad a lot stronger. It shows our intent, already, straight after the season that’s just passed us, and it shows our intent going into the new one. I’m delighted.

“He’s a young player in terms of age but he plays with a lot of maturity. He’s played a lot of games in one of the top five leagues, he’s robust, he’s very consistent and he’s exactly the type of player we need if we want to go to the next level.

“He suits our style and I have no doubt that once he settles, the Aston Villa fans will be witnessing a very top player.”

Gerrard had made signing a midfielder his top priority this summer and played a key role in convincing Kamara to join, visiting the player at his home after watching him play for Marseille.

The France under-21 international’s versatility is thought to have been of particular appeal. Though Kamara has been signed primarily as a holding midfielder, Gerrard believes he can also play as a No.8 or at the middle of a back three if required.

Bringing in a centre-back is Villa’s next focus with Burnley’s James Tarkowski high on their list of targets.

Villa finished 14th in the Premier League and Gerrard, who replaced Dean Smith as boss in November, knows the summer is crucial at stamping his mark on the playing squad.

He said: “We’ve used the last six months to analyse the whole playing staff. We’ve tried to implement a style and an identity that as you can see, clearly, is a work in progress.

“There have been a lot of positives. There have also been some inconsistencies, and there are a lot of areas to work on to get it how we want.

We want to use this stage now to try and recruit extremely well and then take that into a full pre-season with the group.

We’re hoping by the back end of pre-season that it looks more like a Steven Gerrard Aston Villa team and that we can be better and stronger going into the new season. I’m extremely excited – I have been for the last six months.

“I’ve watched everyone really closely, staff members too. We’re going to continue to shape and polish this up so we’re better and better prepared for next season.”

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