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Aston Villa: Unai Emery must instantly ditch Danny Ings

Aston Villa will have their newly-appointed manager Unai Emery joining them at Villa Park this week and it will be no surprise if the former Arsenal boss is keen to make some brutal changes to the struggling side.

Emery joins after the team suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat at St James’ Park on Saturday afternoon that has left them now just one point clear of the relegation zone ahead of their final two league fixtures before the World Cup.

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David Ginola at Aston Villa

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The Villans will need to pick up some much-needed points from both Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion if they have any chance of putting themselves in a more comfortable position before break, with the team not returning to action until after Christmas.

As a result, there is no doubt that Emery will quickly want to establish who he can get the very best tune from and who can offer a hard-working attitude to the team over not just the next two games but in the second half of the campaign too.

One player who the new Villa boss must instantly ditch is striker Danny Ings due to his lacklustre performances outside of his goal-scoring which has been inconsistent within itself.

The 30-year-old forward – who has been dubbed “unlucky” for his injury problems over his career – has scored just 11 goals and registered seven assists since completing his £25m move to Villa in the summer of 2021, with a goal contribution every 150 minutes.

Ings’ inability to positively influence and take control of games beyond goal contributions was perfectly displayed in his performance against Newcastle at the weekend.

The Villa striker only had 17 touches of the ball, completed just five passes out of a mere nine attempted and lost possession every 2.8 touches during an anonymous display up top.

He also lost 50% of his duels and failed to complete a single interception or tackle throughout, displaying a poor work ethic across his 90-minute performance.

His inclusion in the team may also explain why Ollie Watkins’ goal threat has weakened since the former Liverpool man’s arrival at the club as the Villa striker netted 16 times and delivered five assists in the 2020/21 season before Ings joined, a tally he hasn’t achieved ever since.

Who should play in the striker role?

Watkins

Watkins

Ings

Ings

Watkins, who is at his most threatening when he is played in the centre-forward role, has scored 62 goals in total in that position and has often been pushed out wide or even further back to make way for Ings.

That led to the 26-year-old only scoring 11 Premier League goals last season, although that alone is equal to the amount Ings has scored in his entire 18 months at the club.

With that being said, it will be interesting to see how Emery deals with the clear problems in the final third and whether he will make some season-changing and cutthroat decisions early on in an attempt to save Villa from a relegation battle.

Should he ditch Ings and find a way to generate more from Watkins, it could be an immediate masterstroke from the Spanish tactician.

Article title: Aston Villa: Unai Emery must instantly ditch Danny Ings

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