Newcastle United's Matt Targett answers Steven Gerrard question as he reveals why he had to leave Aston Villa

Matt Targett has opened up about his departure at Aston Villa – after committing his future to Newcastle United.
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Targett joined the club this summer in a £15million deal after a successful half-season loan at St James’s Park last term.

The left-back was loaned out by Villa after Steven Gerrard signed Lucas Digne from Everton. Digne’s arrival at Villa Park effectively spell the end of Targett’s career at the club.

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Targett wasn’t willing to stay and sit on the bench at Villa – and Newcastle gave him an opportunity on loan.

"It’s always difficult when they buy a left-back in January, and put him in, pretty much straight away,” said the 26-year-old, who’s set to face Nottingham Forest tomorrow in United’s season-opener.

"That was a difficult one. When you’re at my age, you don't just settle to be on the bench. I'm not that sort of player. It was right for me to move on, I enjoyed my time at Villa, but it’s time to move on and open a new chapter in my career."

Targett didn’t speak to Villa manager Gerrard before joining Newcastle permanently, though the pair had “honest” conversations in January following the arrival of Digne.

Newcastle United defender Matt Targett.Newcastle United defender Matt Targett.
Newcastle United defender Matt Targett.
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Asked if he spoke to Gerrard this summer, Targett said: "There was no conversation with Gerrard. When I joined on loan, he wished me good luck, and we had honest chats during that January.

"I wish him all the best. I left on good terms, so I wish him all the best for the future."

Target thrived at Newcastle, and he was embraced by co-owner Amanda Staveley on the pitch after the final home game of the season. United team-mate Bruno Guimaraes also imported him to stay at the club.

And the backing Eastleigh-born Targett got from supporters made an impression on Targett, who joined Villa in 2019 from boyhood club Southampton.

Newcastle United co-owner embraces Matt Targett in May.Newcastle United co-owner embraces Matt Targett in May.
Newcastle United co-owner embraces Matt Targett in May.
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"It's a really intense city, they (the fans) do really love the players,” said Targett. "They get behind the team so I can't speak highly enough of them.

"The atmospheres, the flags around the stadium when we come out … they’ve built an incredible atmosphere, especially that back end of the season.”