Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Arsenal Wanted To Land This Aston Villa Star: Should Arteta Go Back For 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 edition of the Claret & Blue podcast, journalist Ashley Preece mentioned that Arsenal wanted to land Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins a few weeks ago. Preece said,

“A few weeks ago there was talk of Arsenal coming in for him. You start to worry then a little bit don’t you, given he was an Arsenal fan as a boy. That’s what new contracts do, fend off the opposition and commit your long-term future.”

Watkins’ Up And Down Season In English Football

Watkins is having a campaign of mixed emotions at Villa Park as he has struggled to be consistent for the Villans in the final third. The English frontman has made 29 appearances for the West Midlands club this season, scoring ten goals and grabbing five assists in the process across all fronts.

The 27-year-old has led the line well at times by averaging 2.2 shots and 0.9 key passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League. However, he has been far from convincing with his link-up play in the final third, based on his pass success rate of 70.6% in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Ollie Watkins
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – MARCH 18: Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa is challenged by Marcos Senesi of AFC Bournemouth during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and AFC Bournemouth at Villa Park on March 18, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Should Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta Go Back For Watkins?

Watkins can create space for himself to get some strikes in at goal. He can be a streaky goal-scorer on the attacking end of the field and usually works his socks off for the benefit of his team.

The English sensation has also got the football intelligence to engineer some promising chances for others around him deep inside the opposition half. However, he needs to work on improving his passing accuracy if he wants to taste success in English football someday.

Watkins has got a wealth of experience in the Premier League and won’t take any time to settle into life at Arsenal if Mikel Arteta can devise a way to get him on board.

We can expect the Aston Villa star to add more energy and goals to the North London club’s attack and offer some serious competition for Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah in the race to earn a regular starting spot in Arteta’s first team. With all things considered, it makes sense for the Gunners to go back in for Watkins this summer.

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