Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard delivers Matt Targett verdict ahead of Newcastle United game

Targett will be ineligible to face his parent club on Sunday

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Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has revealed that he would have ‘preferred’ Matt Targett to stay with the team at Villa Park in January but couldn’t stand in the left-back’s way after he had made it clear he wanted to leave.

Targett, 26, joined Villa’s next opponents, Newcastle United on transfer deadline day on a loan move until the end of the season and has already become a bit of a favourite up in the North East.

The full-back will be ineligible to face his parent club on Sunday due to the terms of his contract but Gerrard claims that he would much rather he still be wearing the claret & blue for the match.

WhoScored rating: 6.94. NewcastleWorld rating: 8.WhoScored rating: 6.94. NewcastleWorld rating: 8.
WhoScored rating: 6.94. NewcastleWorld rating: 8.

“This was his decision,” Gerrard said on the reason for allowing Targett to leave.

“When we were linked with Lucas [Digne], I had a conversation with Matt. I said I’d always be honest with him and I expected it back from him.

“I said if we signed a left-back, you tell me what you want. You are free to challenge a new signing who comes in – I always like two people fighting for a position.

“Matt decided he had an opportunity he wanted to pursue and that’s when the respect comes in and you don’t stand in anyone’s way. I would have preferred him to stay and fight as he is a really strong left-back in this league, which is why he had options.

“But I can’t stand in anyone’s way unless I can guarantee him game time that will satisfy him so that’s why it’s come about, but everyone needs to know it was Matt’s decision rather than him being pushed in that direction.

“I’d have been happy to keep him but it’s opened up a pathway for young Ben Chrisene – really good prospect and we’re really excited to try to help him become a Premier League player.”

Aston Villa take on Eddie Howe’s Newcastle United in a 14:00 (GMT) kick-off on Sunday February 13 at St. James’ Park.

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