Aston Villa: Gerrard now 'prioritising' key area at Villa Park

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard giving a message to his players

Aston Villa have no intention of selling striker Ollie Watkins this summer, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

The 26-year-old joined Villa in 2020, and he has attracted attention from one of the club’s Premier League rivals recently.

Who has Watkins been linked with?

Last month, The Guardian reported that West Ham are interested in the England international, with David Moyes looking to bolster his attacking options.

The same report suggested that Villa boss Steven Gerrard could be open to the idea of offloading Watkins if the Villans received an offer of at least £50m for him.

Villa have also been showing interest in signing a forward themselves, with The Telegraph claiming that they could target Luis Suarez.

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What has Crook said about Watkins?

Crook thinks that Villa already have some decent options in attack heading into the summer transfer window as Gerrard can call upon Watkins and Danny Ings, who have a combined valuation of £47m, according to CIES.. He does not expect them to sell Watkins, and has hinted that they may opt against signing Suarez, in order to focus on bringing in a central midfielder instead.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Crook said: “They’re reasonably well-stocked, aren’t they? They’ve got Ollie Watkins and they’ve got Danny Ings, and they didn’t really seem to find the right solution to get them both into the team. I know West Ham have got an interest in Ollie Watkins, but Villa have no plans to sell him. I don’t know if they’ll go for that superstar striker. I think that central midfield area is more of a priority.”

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Should Villa consider selling Watkins?

After netting 14 goals in his debut Premier League campaign in 2020/21, Watkins had some difficulties replicating those numbers last term, as he had only scored seven league goals heading into April.

However, he finished the season strongly, scoring four times in his last nine matches to finish with 11 top-flight strikes to his name.

25 Premier League goals across two seasons is a decent return, and he has plenty of talent which Gerrard can work with.

If Villa want to push for Europe in 2022/23, they may need him to start moving towards 20 goals in a season to achieve this. Whether he is capable of that remains to be seen.

He ought to be entering his peak now, though, and his performances over the last two years indicate that he deserves a chance to lead the line again next season at Villa Park.

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