Ollie Watkins playing on the left-hand side is something Aston Villa fans may see this season following Danny Ings’ arrival from Southampton, says Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield.
Watkins was Villa’s first-choice striker last season and impressed as he led the line for Dean Smith’s side. The England international made 40 appearances in all competitions and scored 16 goals.
However, albeit a good one, Smith now has a dilemma on his hands after the acquisition of Ings. Like Watkins, Ings has proven himself to be an efficient No.9 in recent seasons, scoring 34 goals over the last two Premier League campaigns.
But with Villa mostly using a 4-2-3-1 last term, there will only be room for one centre-forward if that remains Smith’s go-to system. As a result, Hatfield would not be surprised if supporters saw Watkins deployed on the left flank from time to time.
“It’s an interesting one,” the Aston Villa journalist said to FFC. “I think that’s what a lot of fans are asking as well.
“I think you’ll see a number of systems used this season by Villa. The 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3, both very similar, of course, but they were in place and they did revolve around [Jack] Grealish.
“I still think we’ll see that 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 with Watkins maybe on the left-hand side.”
It will be interesting to see what happens, but again, it is a good problem to have.