Aston Villa: Gerrard 'big fan' of £28m ace who's 'got the lot'

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is a “big fan” of Ollie Watkins and wants to keep him at Villa Park, claims transfer insider Pete O’Rourke.

The England striker has recently been linked with a move away from the Midlands club, but O’Rourke believes he is a player who Gerrard will want to retain this summer.

What is the latest news involving Watkins?

Claret & Hugh recently claimed that West Ham manager David Moyes has been tracking Watkins as he looks to bring a striker to the London Stadium in the upcoming transfer window.

Interest in the 26-year-old does not come as a shock after his fantastic 2020/21 campaign at Villa following that £28m move from Brentford.

Last season, which was his first taste of top-flight football, Watkins scored 14 goals in 37 Premier League appearances as the Villans went on to finish just outside of the top 10.

And with there still games left to play in the current campaign, there is a chance that Watkins could record a similar tally this term having netted eight times so far.

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What has O’Rourke said about Watkins?

O’Rourke cannot see Watkins joining West Ham this summer because Gerrard rates the centre-forward highly.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the football journalist said: “Yeah, an interesting link this one. I don’t think Aston Villa right now will be willing to sell Ollie Watkins. I still think Steven Gerrard is a big fan of him and would want to keep him at Villa Park going forward.”

Should Aston Villa sell Watkins?

No. While Watkins has perhaps not done as well as he did last season, he is still a good forward and a player Gerrard clearly appreciates, as O’Rourke highlighted.

“I don’t think there is a limit for Ollie. He’s got the lot – pace, power, aggression,” the Villans boss said (via Daily Mail) back in December. “He has really stepped forward in the two weeks I have been here, and he will grow. He will enjoy the style we play so there isn’t a ceiling for him.”

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If the Villans are to sell a No.9 this summer, then it will probably be Danny Ings despite the 29-year-old only joining the club last August.

Ings has struggled this season, scoring just five goals in 24 league appearances, and is now being linked with a move to Brighton. According to the Daily Mirror, the former Southampton man could be involved in a swap deal that would see him and Yves Bissouma switch sides.

All in all, it makes sense for Villa to keep hold of Watkins, and it looks like that is the plan heading into the summer transfer window.

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