Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has spoken very highly of Ollie Watkins given the influence he has had since he arrived at the club.
Watkins has been in fine form under the Spaniard, scoring five goals and providing two assists in nine Premier League games under his stewardship, which includes an active run of scoring in four consecutive outings.
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The 27-year-old also added a strike against Man Utd in the Carabao Cup, and so it’s clear that not only is he full of confidence and enjoying playing under Emery, but the Villa boss has made adjustments to get him into positions and areas to make a decisive impact in the final third.
Villa are playing to his strengths more and utilising his qualities, and it’s producing results as seen in his goalscoring form, and that’s coupled with his tireless work ethic and commitment to the team.
In turn, it’s hardly surprising then that Emery is pleased with the England international, as he spoke about his impact ahead of our trip to Everton this weekend.
“We are trying with Ollie, to help him, to support him, to improve, to take confidence,” he told reporters, as per VillaTV. “We practice a lot, offensively and defensively, and of course we have to take a balance.
“Some players, maybe they are taking it better than others, and one is Ollie Watkins.
“Every day he is working very, very well and trying to improve, practicing a lot.
“He has ambition, and he is a good example for everybody.”
The challenge for Watkins is to maintain that consistency between now and the end of the season, as although Jhon Duran has shown really positive signs off the bench thus far, following the decision to sell Danny Ings in January and loan out Cameron Archer, we don’t have a wealth of options in that department.
Nevertheless, others have to step up too around Watkins and start contributing, but it’s hoped that he can continue to flourish under Emery, as he has certainly shown a more clinical and ruthless side to his finishing in recent weeks.
One of the biggest criticisms of Watkins through his time at Villa to date has been his lack of a clinical edge in front of goal, but he’s getting into dangerous positions and now delivering to make important impacts in games week in and week out and it’s hoped that continues.