There’s been press claims of the England youth international rejecting a new contract offer.
But after being trusted for a 30-minute run-out against Manchester City last night, Gerrard was quick to explain how Chukwuemeka’s long-term future is at Villa Park.
Gerrard told BirminghamLive: “Listen, this is a young kid. I don’t think we need the noise from the background. Regarding the contract situation he’s got 18 months left. He only signed a deal a year ago so he’s not even halfway through that deal yet. We just need the kid to play football, let him evolve and let him grow.
“We showed what we think of the kid tonight. We showed the belief and confidence in this level of game which is important for him.
“I think you can see the profile and the talent but it’s my job and the staff’s job to make him get better to grow and to get him a better game understanding
But we think this is the right place for him. If anyone else thinks it’s not then I’d like to sit in front of them and discuss that because he’s a local lad, he’s enjoying it.”
Gerrard also admitted to having a sit-down with the England under-19 star recently, adding: “He’s enjoyed the last two weeks. I spoke to him face to face and we’ve told him that if he keeps performing he’ll be very much part of the first-team setup so I don’t see a problem and I certainly don’t want a problem to brew in the background that, for me, I don’t think is there.”