'Difficult one to take': £15m player admits he struggled with decision Gerrard made at Villa last January
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

'Difficult one to take': £15m player admits he struggled with decision Gerrard made at Villa last January

Newcastle United defender Matt Targett has had his say on Steven Gerrard’s decision to replace him at Aston Villa last season.

In an interview with Newcastle World, Targett was asked about how it felt when Gerrard brought in France international Lucas Digne in the January transfer window.

He said: “It is always difficult when they buy a left-back in January and put him straight in,” he explained.

“That was a difficult one to take to be honest.

“When you are at my age you don’t just settle to be on the bench and I’m not that type of player.

“It was right for me to move on, I enjoyed my time at Villa and open a new chapter in my career.”

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Aston Villa’s loss was certainly Newcastle’s gain, with Targett brought in by Eddie Howe on a deadline day loan deal in January and immediately made an impact on Tyneside.

He didn’t miss a minute of action for Newcastle during his loan spell – except against parent club Villa – and finished the season well, helping his new side move out of the relegation zone and finish comfortably above the drop.

Howe’s side were actually considering a move for Digne in that window as well, but the Frenchman had no interest in joining a team who at the time looked destined for relegation.

Targett on Gerrard’s decision to sign a new left-back

It’s understandable that Targett was frustrated with his treatment at Villa Park.

Although Gerrard’s side were on a poor run, losing three out of their last four games before Digne joined, replacing the 26-year-old didn’t improve things massively for Villa.

Digne provided four assists in Targett’s place, with the Englishman only delivering one all season, but Villa slipped down the table to 14th, below Targett’s new club.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

It’s not the first time Targett has impressed while on loan, helping Fulham achieve promotion back to the Premier League during a six-month stint at Craven Cottage in 2018.

Unlike Fulham, Newcastle have made his move to St. James’ Park permanent for £15m, with their transfer business suggesting he’s going to be first choice again this season.

If Targett he can start the season well, then you may even start to hear murmurings from Newcastle fans that the left-back is deserving of a World Cup call-up this November.

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