Noel Whelan has claimed that Ollie Watkins could play in a wide role after Aston Villa confirmed the signing of Danny Ings.
The Lowdown: Ings signs
Villa confirmed the signing of Ings from Southampton last week, meaning that with the additions of Emi Buendia and Leon Bailey as well, it may be more difficult to fit Watkins into the team as a striker.
Should Aston Villa play Watkins out wide?
It certainly is a good problem for Dean Smith to have following the departure of Jack Grealish to Manchester City – he has plenty of options to choose from even without the former skipper.
The Latest: New role?
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan, former Leeds United and Coventry City striker turned pundit, has claimed that Watkins could play in a wider role in order to accommodate Ings into the side:
“I think we’ve seen Ollie Watkins play in wider areas for Brentford.
“Just because he’s playing out wide, doesn’t mean he can’t go and score goals. That’s brilliant news for Aston Villa, you have to say.
“He’ll still be expected to get in the box from wide areas. I did it at Coventry and was top scorer from that kind of role, so it can be done.
“He’s got that pace that can hurt teams from wide areas, getting in behind them and causing problems.
“He and Ings will be looking to form a partnership as quickly as possible, and what a partnership that will be. He’s an amazing player.”
The Verdict: Capable
Watkins is certainly more than capable of playing out wide, as he has done throughout his club career so far (Transfermarkt).
It also means that AVFC can play with Ings up top as well, thus giving them an extra goal threat going into the new 2021/22 season.
With Buendia and Bailey now options too for Smith, it presents such a mouth-watering prospect that all four could play together in one team, which would surely give Villa the edge over other sides in the top flight with their added attacking threat.
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