In a recent interview with Give Me Sport, transfer insider Dean Jones offered an update on the future of Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins. Jones mentioned that the Villans’ centre-forward wants to stay at Villa Park and said,
“As soon as [Steven] Gerrard is gone, Watkins is back on the goal trail.
“He doesn’t want to leave Aston Villa, ultimately he’ll see this as a clean slate for him and I don’t think Leeds will be able to get him.”
Watkins’ Mediocre Season At Villa Park So Far
Watkins has made an average start to this campaign as he has struggled to be prolific in front of the opposition goal which led to Steven Gerrard’s sacking recently. The English striker has only banged in two goals and secured two assists in 14 matches for the Villans this season across various competitions.
The Torquay-born talent has caught the eye at times by averaging 2.1 shots and 0.8 key passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League. However, he has been guilty of being a bit untidy with his link-up play in the final third, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 71.7% in the English first division (stats via whoscored).
His current contract with the West Midlands club is set to expire in the summer of 2025. Hence, there is no immediate need for Unai Emery to cash in on him next year.
Should Aston Villa Head Coach Unai Emery Keep Hold Of Watkins?
Watkins can use his quickness and agility to make some decent runs with the ball in the opponent’s half and is proficient at creating space for himself to get a few shots in on-target. He usually operates as a centre-forward but can also fill in as a wide player on either flank if his manager tells him to do so.
The English striker can engineer some decent openings for others around him but can be a bit wasteful at times with his decision-making in the final third.
At the moment, Watkins remains an integral member of Unai Emery‘s squad at Villa Park and seems to have found some form for the Villans of late. Thus, Emery should consider keeping hold of him beyond next summer as he still has what it takes to become a prolific goal-scorer for them when he hits his peak over the next couple of years.
At 26, Watkins will only mature as a footballer in the future. Therefore, Aston Villa should focus on retaining his services and getting the best out of the talented attacker for now.