Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Aston Villa Centre-Forward Is On Arsenal’s Radar: Should The Villans Let Him Go?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Sun revealed that Aston Villa centre-forward Ollie Watkins is on Arsenal’s radar. It is understood that the Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has identified the Villans striker as a potential replacement for Alexandre Lacazette.

Watkins’ Recent Form In English Football

Watkins has made a slow start to this Premier League campaign as he has struggled to be consistent in terms of his goal-scoring thus far. The 25-year-old has scored one goal in five league matches for the West Midlands outfit this season.

However, the Torquay-born sensation deserves some credit for averaging 2.6 shots, 0.6 key passes and 1.4 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Premier League. He has even taken care of the ball when distributing possession deep inside the opposition half, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 80.8% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Watkins’ current contract at Villa Park is set to run out in the summer of 2025, so the Gunners will have to launch a big-money bid if they are to convince the Villans to part ways with their prized asset in the future.

Aston Villa (Watkins)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 03: Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa salutes the fans after the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 03, 2021, in London, England. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency:
Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Should The Villans Let Watkins Go?

Watkins has decent pace under his belt and can make some good runs with the ball in behind the opponent’s backline. He is proficient at generating a yard of space for himself to get a few shots in on-target.

The English striker can be a composed finisher in the final third when he is playing regularly and with confidence on the pitch. He doesn’t give away the ball cheaply and seems to have all the skillset required to perfectly complement Danny Ings at Villa Park in the coming seasons. Watkins is primarily a centre-forward but can function as a secondary striker or play as a winger out on the flanks if needed.

At 25, the English forward’s best years are ahead of him, so the Villans boss Dean Smith should not entertain the possibility of letting the striker leave unless he receives a lucrative offer for his services. Every player has a price and Watkins is no exception but at the moment, the Midlands outfit would be better off keeping hold of him beyond the end of this campaign.

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