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Aston Villa: Noel Whelan claims Gerrard has ‘hit the jackpot’ with attacking duo

Aston Villa: Noel Whelan claims Gerrard has ‘hit the jackpot’ with attacking duo -Aston Villa News

Ex-BBC pundit Noel Whelan has claimed that Steven Gerrard has ‘hit the jackpot’ by creating the strike partnership of Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins at Aston Villa.

The Lowdown: Formidable duo

The 41-year-old boss named the attacking duo in his starting line-up for his side’s recent comfortable 3-1 victory over relegation-battling Burnley, and his decision to play the 4-4-2 diamond formation clearly paid off, with both of the forwards getting their name on the scoresheet.

According to a report from a Football Insider transfer source back in April, the Villans are thought to be preparing a brand new bumper deal for Watkins, amid receiving interest for the player from Premier League rivals Arsenal, whilst Ings is believed to be catching the eye of Brighton as they search for a new centre-forward this summer.

The Latest: Gerrard has hit the jackpot

Reacting to the news of Watkins’ potential new deal, Whelan has urged Gerrard to keep hold of his men and persist with this new-found successful formation. He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “Ings and Watkins are not bad Premier League strikers.

“They seem to thrive from playing with one another, and both are pretty well-rounded forwards. They can do almost everything in that final third.

“I think right now that a diamond system is a brilliant option for Steven Gerrard. He’s hit the jackpot.

“They don’t lose any creativity by having two centre forwards. They can both drop in and play in between the lines if they have to.

“The goals at the weekend just prove that they can be a really potent strike force when they are given the opportunity to play together.”

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The Verdict: The perfect formula

Ings first arrived at Villa Park from Southampton last summer and has enjoyed a decent albeit slightly underwhelming first season in the Midlands, providing seven goal contributions in as many appearances in an excellent recent run of form.

Watkins joined a year before his teammate from Brentford for what was a club-record fee of £28m, and so far this campaign, the pair have netted a combined total of 17 top-flight goals between them.

If the pair of poachers continue their impressive returns between now and the end of the term, there is a definite chance that Gerrard’s boys could be set for a top ten finish before aiming even higher from next season.

In other news… The Daily Mail have reported that one Villa star wants to leave the club this summer.

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Article title: Aston Villa: Noel Whelan claims Gerrard has ‘hit the jackpot’ with attacking duo

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