Ex-Aston Villa ace hails ‘perfect signing’ Ollie Watkins and slams ‘stubborn’ Gareth Southgate over treatment of Jack Grealish

New Aston Villa signing Ollie Watkins may have come at a hefty price but Gabby Agbonlahor believes the striker will be worth every penny.

Watkins joined the Premier League side from Brentford in a deal that could rise up to £33 million earlier this week.

Watkins formed a formidable attacking partnership with Said Benrahma and Bryan Mbeumo at Brentford

There’s no denying his ability though. The striker, 24, scored 25 goals in the Championship last season as the Bees narrowly missed out on promotion.

He’s never played in the top flight but ex-Villa frontman can’t wait to see him play in the Premier League.

Agbonlahor told talkSPORT Breakfast: “Anybody that’s scored that many goals in the Championship has got to come at a price. He’s at a good age and there’s a great sell-on value for the club as well.

“The signings of Mbwana Samatta and Wesley – they haven’t worked, have they? They haven’t got the goals, they haven’t looked like Premier League strikers.

“For me, Watkins is the perfect signing. He’s got pace, he’s a goalscorer and he’s hungry. He’s played under Dean Smith before [at Brentford] so Dean Smith will get the best out of him.

“I’m really excited about the signing. I know it’s a big fee but you might be looking back in a years’ time and say ‘wow, this lad scored ten Premier League goals.”

Watkins is expected to be higher than the likes of Samatta and Wesley in the pecking order at Villa

Agbonlahor also had his say on Jack Grealish’s England debut and like all Villa fans (and pretty much every single England fan), he believes Grealish deserved a better crack at the whip.

Grealish received his first Three Lions call-up, following a number of squad withdrawals, for their Nations League clashes against Iceland and Denmark.

He didn’t feature against Iceland as England scraped to a 1-0 victory in Reykjavik.

However, there was outcry from fans and a number of former players as Grealish sat on the bench for most of a tight encounter against the Danes.

England fans’ prayers were eventually answered when Southgate brought on Grealish – in the 76th minute.

Despite his short time on the pitch in the goalless draw, stats revealed that he created more chances than Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips combined.

And Agbonlahor could believe that Grealish wasn’t brought on at half time at the EARLIEST.

He added: “Any other England manager would’ve said at half time at least, ‘Jack’s on’.

“There was no creativity, no one was taking them [Denmark] on, the game’s crying out for the No.10 who can get the ball and take someone on.

“He gave him 14 minutes. In that 14 minutes, he creates MORE chances than Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and Declan Rice.

“He’ll be looking at those two games that he’s been involved in and thinking ‘I can do so much for this team, just give me a chance, give me a start. I’m playing with the likes of Sterling, Sancho and Kane. Just thrown me in there! Why are you playing five at the back and two defensive midfielders?’

Agbonlahor suggested that Southgate personally dislikes the idea of playing Grealish
– Getty

“Managers can be stubborn can’t they? He’s not called Grealish up, there were a few withdrawals and he’s had to bring Jack because of maybe pressure from the media.

“So he [Southgate] is probably thinking ‘oh, he [Grealish] isn’t coming on. Mason Mount, get ready, you’re on first.’

“You put Jack in there and that’s going to take two players to stop him and that opens up space for Sterling or Sancho. The problem against Denmark and Iceland is that they didn’t have that threat and they could double up on Sterling and Sancho.

“What I like is that’s it’s not just Aston Villa fans calling for it [for Grealish to play more], it’s the whole country.”


By: Jackson
Title: Ex-Aston Villa ace hails ‘perfect signing’ Ollie Watkins and slams ‘stubborn’ Gareth Southgate over treatment of Jack Grealish
Sourced From: talksport.com/football/757756/aston-villa-agbonlahor-perfect-signing-ollie-watkins-gareth-southgate-jack-grealish/
Published Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2020 20:44:06 +0000