Friday, August 12, 2022

Manchester City Urged To Recruit This Aston Villa Striker: Can The Villans Afford To Lose Him?

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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 interview with the Sun, Manchester City have been urged to recruit Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins by former Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips. When asked about which Premier League forward Man City should target, Wright-Phillips said,

“Someone was talking to me about it the other day and I said ‘for me I would sign Ollie Watkins’.”

Watkins’ Up And Down Season In English Football

Watkins has made a tough start to this campaign after struggling to maintain his excellent form from last season. The Torquay-born talent has banged in two goals in nine matches for the Villans during this campaign in all competitions.

Still, the 25-year-old has been consistent with his offensive contributions as he is averaging 2.4 shots, 0.8 key passes and 1.7 dribbles per game in Premier League football this season. Even then, he needs to work on improving his link-up play in the attacking end of the field, based on his pass success rate of 72.8% in the top tier of English football (stats via whoscored).

Aston Villa (Ollie Watkins)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 05: Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa applauds the fans following defeat in the Premier League match between Southampton and Aston Villa at St Mary’s Stadium on November 05, 2021 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/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/)

Can Aston Villa Afford To Lose Watkins?

Watkins can be a decent finisher in the final third when he is firing on all cylinders on the field. He can make space for himself to test the opposition keeper with some strikes at goal. The English centre-forward can even use his quickness to make a few intelligent runs in behind the opponent’s backline. However, he needs to work on improving his passing if he intends to taste success at the highest level.

At the moment, Watkins remains one of the most important members of Aston Villa‘s first XI. Hence, the Villans simply cannot afford to let him leave as he is far too integral for them to replace in the future.

Watkins is under contract at Villa Park until the summer of 2025 which means that there is no immediate pressure for the West Midlands club to cut him loose unless the player asks for a transfer himself in the coming years. At 25, the English striker’s best years are ahead of him, so Aston Villa simply cannot afford to let him go in January or at the end of this season.

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