Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard could be about to make another big mistake…
According to Football Insider, the Midlands outfit are shopping striker Ollie Watkins in the final few weeks of the transfer window after a fall-out behind the scenes with the manager.
One source told the website that the pair “do not see eye to eye.”
It remains to be seen how much Villa could land, should an interested club come forward, though after costing the club around £33m back in September 2020, he is now valued at a similar fee of £34m by CIES Football Observatory.
Gerrard has already made a blunder with his decision to not only strip the captaincy from Tyrone Mings but also drop him from the starting lineup too, and he could be making another here with Watkins.
“Big mistake. He’s divided his dressing room right down the middle,” claimed beIN SPORTS presenter Richard Keys in a recent blog post. Gerrard left his bad news until 10 days before the season started. Big error,” he added.
Villa have rarely won without Mings in the XI, in fact they have lost eight of their last 12 league outings when the England international hasn’t featured.
Now with Watkins, he could well seal his fate in charge of the Midlands club. Last season, the former Brentford talisman was the only player to surpass double figures for goals (11).
In that defeat to the Cherries, Villa only managed two shots on target all game, suggesting that their struggles in front of goal have rumbled over into the new campaign – it’s not as if they breezed past anyone in pre-season, barring EFL minnows Walsall.
Soon after Watkins arrived in Birmingham, The Athletic’s Gregg Evans explained how much of an impact he had made on Dean Smith’s side.
“I really think he’s making a big difference actually, to Villa, I think that he’s given them a new dimension and his hold-up play is great, he creates space for others and that’s helping the midfielders flourish.”
Meanwhile, also lauded as a “machine” by Bees programme editor Chris Deacon and “lethal” by former West Ham frontman Trevor Sinclair, it’s clear that the 26-year-old should be Villa’s starting striker rather than a player that is expendable just three weeks before the end of the transfer window.
This report should leave many around Villa Park worried as it would be yet another ‘big mistake’ from Gerrard, who is now under pressure.