Danny Ings to Aston Villa: What does this mean for Ollie Watkins?

Aston Villa continued to strengthen in this transfer window with one of the most out-of-the-blue signings yet and picked up Southampton Striker, Danny Ings.

The prolific Premier League scorer joins in a deal for around £25 million, in a rather under-the-radar transfer.

So, signing a proven Premier League goalscorer is a good thing, right? But what does it mean for Villa’s breakout star Ollie Watkins? Watkins scored 14 league goals in his first campaign and predominantly played as the central component of a front three.

His chemistry with the now outgoing Jack Grealish was one of the big reasons the Birmingham side finished 11th and recorded some impressive victories, including a 7-2 thrashing over former champions Liverpool, in which Watkins scored a hat-trick.

You’d think Watkins would be a must-start after last season but with Ings coming in, that could change. Ings is a full number 9 style striker, unlike Watkins, who used to play out wide in his earlier career.

This means if Ings does play, it will have to be central and he has been incredibly effective from this position too, scoring 46 league goals over his last three seasons.

Villa have lost their talisman Grealish to Man City and brought in former Norwich playmaker Emi Buendia, to help take over the playmaker role. The Ings transfer almost feels like a safeguard option upfront, with a lot of Watkins goals and assists coming through some sort of Grealish involvement.

It looks as though Ings will find his way onto the starting line-up sooner rather than later, but can Watkins also fit in? Villa plays with a front three and with Watkins’s experience out wide, the answer is yes, but it won’t be easy.

Alongside bringing in Buendia, Villa also brought in Bundesliga winger Leon Bailey, who will also be vying for the other winger slot. We also know Watkins is not as productive from out wide, so competition will be hard, and he may have to work on other parts of his game or find himself on the fringes.

The Ings signing really does leave question marks as to where the former Brentford frontman stands. The transfer leaves Villa in good stead as signing a proven top-flight goalscorer is never a bad thing.

There are many rumours that Watkins could be a Harry Kane replacement at Tottenham and those will only get bigger, but one thing’s for sure, he’s going to have dome heavy competition to take the top job at Villa.