Ex-Aston Villa star explains how forward’s West Ham move helped ‘unlucky’ striker

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What Gabriel Agbonlahor has said about Ollie Watkins’ impressive form

Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has praised Ollie Watkins for his recent performances and has explained why he thinks his form has dramatically improved. The 27-year-old has netted eight goals in the Premier League this season, with five of them coming in the last five matches.

Watkins had been partnered up with Danny Ings for much of the earlier stages of the campaign, however he has now been left up top by himself after his former teammate joined West Ham in the January transfer window.

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When asked on talkSPORT whether he believes Ings’ departure has helped Watkins, Agbonlahor said: “I think it does. When you know you’re the main striker and you’re going to play every game and the manager has got faith in you then you’re going to be in great form.

“He had been quite unlucky with some of the chances he’s missed but now he’s starting to get that confidence where everything he is hitting is going in. So he’s a great asset to Villa and they should tie him down.”

Watkins joined Aston Villa for a club-record fee of £28 million in 2020 and he has since scored 33 goals in the Premier League - only two goals from entering Villa’s top ten goalscorers in the top flight. The forward sits behind the likes of Christian Benteke, Dwight Yorke and Agbonlahor.

“I was having a bit of banter with Ollie Watkins at the weekend,” Agbonlahor said. “I was saying you need to calm down now, you’re catching me. I think he’s like 40 goals off me now. I said to him I’m hoping you get pushed out onto the wing like I did! But he’s in outstanding form. I think he’s the first Aston Villa player to score five in a row.”

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Ings scored 13 league goals during his time at Villa Park but now arguably looks like he was holding Watkins back from unleashing his potential. The 30-year-old has scored twice since joining the Irons last month.

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