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Aston Villa: Alex McLeish reacts to Ollie Watkins price tag

Aston Villa: Alex McLeish reacts to Ollie Watkins price tag -Aston Villa News

Former Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish has reacted to the club placing a £50m price tag on Ollie Watkins. 

The lowdown: Big offer needed

This comes following a report from The Guardian claiming that the Villans would demand offers in excess of £50m for the 26-year-old marksman.

Citing a growing interest from West Ham United, it was claimed that the Midlands club ‘could be prepared’ to part ways with Watkins.

One former occupant of the Villa Park hot seat has now given his verdict on the asking price and indeed the possibility of the club selling a prized asset.

The latest: McLeish welcomes Watkins asking price

Speaking to Football Insider, McLeish insisted that the ‘fantastic’ Watkins is worth every penny of the mooted fee.

The 63-year-old said: “I think it would be normal evolution. That for me is his price.

“I think there’s more to come from him if he can keep growing in confidence. Not that he lacks confidence but if he can keep growing his knowledge of the game and study the best strikers.

“He’s already one of the best strikers in the Premier League. He’s got fantastic pace, he reads the game well, he nearly embarrassed Liverpool the other night with the charge down on the goalkeeper. I like Watkins.”

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The verdict: Fair price

If a Premier League rival is going to try and sign Villa’s joint-most valuable asset this summer, the club must hold out for the top end of their asking price in order to move onto the next level themselves.

The £31.5m-valued ace has earned England recognition on seven occasions since arriving at Villa Park,  triggering a contract clause in the process which saw the club’s hierarchy shell out a further £1m to his former clubs Brentford and Exeter.

Watkins ended the campaign with 16 goals and five assists in 40 appearances across all competitions, taking to life in the Premier League with apparent ease, and he should be regarded as an important member of Steven Gerrard’s squad as the manager looks ahead to the 2022/23 season.

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However, should bids of more than £50m be forthcoming, those funds would go a long way to improving various parts of the Villa squad, which the board and indeed Gerrard would surely welcome.

In other news: NSWE now close to agreeing deal for another midfielder alongside Coutinho

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