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Aston Villa: Unai Emery must sign Paul Onuachu in January

The January transfer window is less than a month away from opening for business and eyes will be on Aston Villa and what they do with Unai Emery at the helm.

Villa appointed the Spaniard to replace Steven Gerrard in the dugout and January will be his first chance to bring in his own signings to improve the squad heading into the second half of the season.

It also provides him with an opportunity to cast aside any players that he does not want to build the team around in the coming years and one dud who could be on the chopping block is Ollie Watkins.

The £75k-per-week marksman has endured a rough season in the Premier League and Emery could ditch him in order to free up space for another striker to come through the door.

Watkins has scored twice in 14 appearances in the English top-flight this term and has averaged a dismal Sofascore rating of 6.64 – a score that places him 17th in the squad for the Villans – which shows that he has struggled badly in front of goal and in his general play this term.

Should Villa cash in on Watkins?

Yes

Yes

No

No

This comes after he managed 11 goals in 35 outings in the 2021/22 campaign with these statistics indicating that he has regressed this season, which is why it could be time to cut ties with him in January.

Who could replace him, though? Well, French publication Jeunes Footeux claimed in November that Villa are eyeing up Genk striker Paul Onuachu and that his club want at least €25m (£21.4m) for his services in the next window.

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Emery must now push Villa to complete a deal for the Nigerian centre-forward as he has the potential to be a big upgrade on Watkins at the top end of the pitch.

The 28-year-old has plundered 13 goals in ten Pro League starts for Genk this season, after scoring 21 times in 30 starts last term, and has averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.25.

Onuachu, who was once dubbed a “goal king” by John Fashanu, has scored 82 goals in 127 matches in all competitions for the Belgian side and his impressive numbers over the last few seasons suggest that he would be a terrific signing for Villa if he can adapt to English football.

Therefore, the club must take a gamble on the prolific marksman in January and bring him to Villa Park as he could improve their attacking options and allow Emery to ditch the misfiring Watkins in favour of a striker who provides more of a goal threat.