Aston Villa have somewhat struggled in the striking department in recent years, however, it appeared that with last summer’s surprise acquisition of Danny Ings, their issue was solved.
A proven marksman with something of a spotty injury record, it was believed that he and Ollie Watkins could be perfect foils for one another over the season.
This was, unfortunately for Villa, not the case, and Dean Smith was relieved of his managerial duties in November of 2021.
Watkins and Ings scored a combined 18 goals in 65 appearances last season, which whilst not terrible, was far from what would’ve been expected. Particularly considering the latter outscored this combined tally as recently as the 2019/20 campaign.
This could therefore explain Steven Gerrard’s reported interest in Spanish striker Raul de Tomas, as Pete O’Rourke told FootballFanCast:
“Villa have had success in the transfer window in the last couple, bringing in Coutinho and then bringing in Diego Carlos and Boubacar Kamara already this summer as well.
“So they have got the clout to go out there and sign the best players in Europe. And I’m sure that De Tomas would give serious thought to go into going to Villa if an offer was made for his services.”
Last season the Spaniard bagged 17 goals alone in the league as Espanyol finished comfortably 14th. His goals were integral in his side’s survival as he was comfortably his club’s top scorer, with the next highest only having four goals.
De Tomas would instantly improve Gerrard’s side, and he can finally axe what must go down as a very poor signing. Now at 30 years of age and bought for a reported £25m, Ings offers little resale value and will only decline as his explosive speed and quick movement wanes.
The 27-year-old labelled “fantastic” and “emphatic” by James Dodd is entering his prime years, and he can bring everything that Ings was expected to bring and more, and available for just £30m, he represents a similar price to Ings’ initial purchase.
Gerrard should swoop to secure his signing and in the process axe the Englishman who has failed to deliver at Villa Park.