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Alan Shearer blown away by Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins is enjoying the form of his life and he should be among the first players to be in the England squad for the Euros. 

Alan Shearer, writing for The Athletic, claims that the 28-year-old is the most improved player in the Premier League this season.

Watkins has scored 16 goals in the Premier League and has managed 10 assists at the same time in the league, and Shearer has hailed him as “sensational”.

The Villa striker has scored five goals in his last three games and bagged a brace against Luton Town last week as Villa emerged as a 3-2 winner at Kenilworth Road.

Harry Kane remains the first-choice striker for Southgate, but Shearer has suggested that the England manager should use Watkins upfront and play Kane just behind him in a fluid formation.

What Shearer wrote about the Villa striker

The former Newcastle striker wrote for The Athletic:

“Play Ollie Watkins in the No 9 role. Kane can drop back into the No 10 space, which we all know is a natural part of his game and one where he has been so key in creating for England, Tottenham and Bayern Munich. Bellingham would take up a deeper midfield position alongside Rice. Foden and Saka still cut in from out wide.

“Yes, it would be a first, as the two have never shared a pitch for England — but this season, Watkins is looking like the most improved player in the Premier League.

“He has 16 league goals already, his best top-flight return, with 11 games left to play. This is already the season of his life. Some of the credit for that must go down to Unai Emery, who appears to have told Watkins to do the vast majority of his work between the width of the penalty area. It’s not genius but it certainly works.”

Unai Emery deserves a lot of credit

Watkins previously missed out on two occasions to represent England at the highest stage, but this time, unless he gets injured, no one can stop him from getting into the squad. He has been absolutely terrific and is probably one of the candidates for the Player of the Season as well.

Under Emery, he has become a typical modern-day striker who drops deep and creates chances for others. The amount of defensive shifts and pressing he does is commendable, and that’s why he brings a lot more to the table than just scoring goals, which he does anyway.

Playing both Kane and Watkins makes a lot of sense. Kane has proved his class by playing in a deeper role where he has been influential in creating chances for others as also scoring goals. Moreover, the two can interchange places during the game, making it difficult for defenders.

At the moment, Watkins is absolutely focussed on taking Villa into the top four. The competition is intense at the moment with Tottenham trying to close the gap.

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