Sunday, October 2, 2022

Aston Villa Chief Denies Rumours Of This Striker’s Exit: What Should Gerrard Do?

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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 tweet, Aston Villa communications director Tommy Jordan has denied rumours of Ollie Watkins’ exit this summer. Jordan responded to Football Insider‘s claim by posting,

‘Absolute nonsense from this outlet once again.’

Watkins’ Up And Down Campaign At Villa Park

The 26-year-old had a tough season at the West Midlands club recently as he struggled to be consistent with his overall productivity in front of the opposition goal. Watkins found the back of the net on 11 occasions and grabbed a couple of assists in 36 matches for the Villans in the previous campaign across various competitions.

The English sensation deserves some praise for leading the line well by averaging 2.2 shots, 1.0 key passes and 1.1 dribbles per game in the 2021-22 Premier League season. However, he lacked quality with his link-up play deep inside the opponent’s half after making only 70.9% of his attempted passes in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at Villa Park is set to expire in the summer of 2025, so Aston Villa head coach Steven Gerrard is under no pressure to cash in on him during this summer transfer window.

Aston Villa
Aston Villa

What Should Aston Villa Boss Steven Gerrard Do With Regards To Watkins?

Watkins has struggled to score goals consistently over the past 12 months. Still, there is no denying that he is a hard-working forward who can make some well-timed runs in behind the opposition defence. He excels at creating space for himself to get a few shots in on target.

The English talent can even engineer some meaningful openings for his teammates in the attacking end of the field. He is primarily a centre-forward but can also play as a secondary striker or as a wide player on the left flank if required.

At 26, Watkins is entering his prime, so his numbers will only improve if the Villans decide to keep hold of him for the duration of his current contract.

Even though Watkins is struggling to score goals at the moment, Gerrard would be wise to retain his services for at least a couple of more seasons as the talented striker is definitely capable of turning his fortunes around at the West Midlands club.

The English marksman is still good enough to spearhead Aston Villa‘s attack this season. Now it would be up to Gerrard to unlock the best out of him at Villa Park. If Watkins can find some form in the coming matches, he has the right mindset to transform his Aston Villa career around for the better.

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