Aston Villa managed to survive the 2019/20 Premier League campaign but now have an incredibly difficult task ahead of them. Dean Smith knows the club will need to reinforce all of their lines if they are to have any kind of success in the upcoming season.
Of course, one of the biggest issues last year was the lack of goals. This was partly due to Wesley’s long-term injury and then because both Mbwana Samatta and Keinan Davis struggled to rattle the inside of the opposition’s net as the team’s main options up front after lockdown.
For that reason, it doesn’t surprise that the Villains are indeed in the market for a new forward. According to the latest report by Daily Mail, Smith’s men are set to table their first £18m bid for Brentford’s Ollie Watkins.
However, the same source claims, this fee might not be enough as the Championship side wants at least £25m. Still, there is a possibility that the Villains manage to negotiate a slightly more favourable deal but as things currently stand, their Wesley replacement won’t exactly come cheap.
Smith knows the player quite well, having worked with him back when he was the Bees boss and the now 24-year-old was just arriving at the club.
But with 26 goals in the 2019/20 campaign, Watkins has surely managed to impress the right people but also bump up his market value.
It will be interesting to see whether Aston Villa have the funds to meet Brentford’s asking price.
Of course, when fit and firing, Wesley is surely Smith’s first-choice forward. However, apart from him, the Villains, unfortunately, don’t really have reliable options who can score goals on a consistent basis.
And this is where Watkins comes in. The young forward has proven himself to be a lethal player and could definitely be a replacement or just an alternative to Wesley moving forward.