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.”
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.
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.
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