“He just wants to get better. He tests you as a coach as well. He’s always asking you what he can do to improve.
“One of his questions, when I met up with him, was ‘how can you get me into the England squad?’
“That’s his ambition. I love it when people have got them targets and hunger to get there. Hopefully, he will get there. There certainly won’t be a lack of trying, that’s for sure.”
Watkins’ Amazing Start To Life At Villa Park
After Smith’s words of encouragement, the English striker went on to score a goal from the penalty spot in a 4-3 losing effort versus Southampton on Sunday. That goal took Watkins’ tally to six goals and one assist in nine appearances for the Villans this season across all fronts.
The Torbay-born marksman has performed at a high level after averaging 2.5 shots, 1.5 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per 90 minutes in this current Premier League campaign. However, the 24-year-old can improve his ball-distribution as he has made only 66.2% of his attempted passes in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).
Watkins’ brightest moment this season came in the incredible 7-2 win over Liverpool last month when he bagged a hattrick while up against a Virgil Van Dijk-led defence. The early signs have been quite promising from him but only time will tell whether he can maintain his good form in the remainder of this season.
What Are The Former Brentford Attacker’s Best Attributes?
Watkins boasts excellent pace which he can use to breeze past the opposition defenders and cause a few problems by getting in behind them in the final third. He enjoys working his socks off by running the channels for the benefit of his teammates and is gradually transforming himself into a prolific finisher in front of the opponent’s goal.
The English striker has got a great leap in him and can net a few goals with his head as well. However, there is no denying that he needs to work on improving his link-up play with others around him in the attacking third of the field.
Is Watkins A Star In The Making At Villa Park?
If Watkins can continue improving his goal-scoring numbers in the coming seasons, then there is no reason why he won’t end up being a success story at the West Midlands club. For now, the Villans centre-forward needs to focus on maintaining his high standards in the upcoming winter months when the fixtures come thick and fast in English football.
At 24, Watkins is only going to get better and mature as a striker with each season. Thus, it is safe to assume that he could be a star in the making at Villa Park under the watchful eyes of Dean Smith in the years to come.