Aston Villa’s season so far has been a story of two halves already, with the side facing a relegation battle under Dean Smith in 16th and then appointing Steven Gerrard who has restored Villa’s expectations of a potential top half finish as they currently sit 12th in the Premier League table after just seven games in charge.
Gerrard hasn’t had the opportunity to put his stamp on the squad in the sense of bringing in the right players to suit his style of play and his vision for the future at Villa Park, but he has had the time to work with a squad full of quality, with a number of signings made in the summer of this year, with the likes of Leon Bailey and Emi Buendia joining the ranks.
The former Rangers manager will have had enough time though to get settled in and experience working with the crop of players he already has at the club, giving him the right amount of time to establish which areas need more strength and where the squad need to offload players.
One player who has failed to make an impact on the side since he joined in a shock move during the summer is Danny Ings and now he has been called out for his lack of quality by former Villa player and all time top goal scorer, Gabby Agbonlahor;
“Every time I’ve watched Ings and Watkins play together it hasn’t worked, something isn’t working with their connection,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider.
“Ings is a goalscorer. He will have come in on very good wages and it was a £30million fee, you’ve got to try and make a place for him in the team.”
It is no surprise Agbonlahor has spoken out to expose the centre forward, when you look at the lack of presence and effectiveness in the first half of the season, there is no reason why Gerrard shouldn’t ruthlessly axe Ings until he can prove he can offer more to the team.
The £100K-a-week earning centre forward has scored just three goals since joining the side, with only one of those goals actually contributing to a win, with the other two scored in 3-2 defeats against Watford and Wolves.
“Danny Ings has the lowest non-penalty xG per 90 (0.15) and the lowest xA per 90 (0.02) of any Premier League forward this season. [understat, >800 minutes played].”
Gerrard has an important decision to make on Ings future in the starting line up for Aston Villa, and should take a closer look at how the striker can come back into the goal scoring form he was famous for at Southampton with 46 goals in just 100 appearances for the Saints.
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