Tim Iroegbunam is one of a handful of Aston Villa players that will report late to pre-season training as he’s been representing England U19s, so Steven Gerrard has extra time to decide what to do with the 18-year-old ahead of the new campaign.

Since joining from West Bromwich Albion in 2021, Iroegbunam has quickly gone from playing in the reserves to being on the fringes on the first-team, making 19 appearances for the U23s and three appearances at senior level, but playing time might be hard to come by in 2022/23.

Steven Gerrard signed Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer from Olympique Marseille and has Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luiz and Morgan Sanson who can operate in the deep-lying role, so Iroegbunam might not get many opportunities.

The 18-year-old has trained with the first-team and been in the matchday squad plenty of times, but Gerrard might feel a loan move is better for his development rather than sitting on the bench.

Iroegbunam will certainly improve being around a better calibre of player, but he has too many people standing in his way of getting minutes on the pitch for Villa.

In other news, Ashley Preece says Steven Gerrard eyes Kaine Kesler Hayden as Frederic Guilbert’s replacement