Aston Villa have been handed a major injury boost over Ollie Watkins ahead of their Premier League clash against Chelsea later today.
The England international had been out of action for Villa for the opening two Premier League games before coming on as a substitute late on in the draw against Brentford last time out.
Dean Smith’s side travel to Stamford Bridge to take on the reigning Champions League holders on Saturday, and via a tweet from the club’s official social media channels, Smith said: “We should be welcoming Ollie Watkins back. We’ve also got Leon Bailey back to full fitness now. Bertrand Traore has trained the last couple of days as well. John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey have recovered from their Covid-19 situations too.”
Make no mistake about it, while Danny Ings got his Villa career off to a decent start with a goal on his debut, missing Watkins for those opening couple of games would’ve come as a massive blow to Smith.
The striker led Villa’s charge up the table last term, bagging 16 goals in all competitions (including 14 in the Premier League alone) and netting in home and away fixtures against both Liverpool and Arsenal. Such were his impressive performances in his debut campaign in the top flight that reports even suggested that the Merseyside club were interested in signing him in the summer transfer window.
Indeed, former Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has even touted Watkins with winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot award, saying: “I think people might look at that statement and say ‘no chance’, but you look at last season, his first season in the Premier League, Watkins was scoring goals galore, he wasn’t even taking penalties and still got into double figures.
“I think if he is to win the Golden Boot he’d need to be on penalties, so we need to get El Ghazi off of them. But, he’s an outstanding striker, he’s got his England caps and he’s getting better and better with each game he plays in the Premier League.”