Aston Villa are in action tonight with an away clash against Fulham in the Premier League.
The Villans’ previous outing saw them lose 2-0 at home to Chelsea last weekend thanks to a brace from Mason Mount.
Looking ahead to tonight’s showdown in west London, one player who has been a prominent figure in Steven Gerrard’s side over the past few weeks but who we feel needs to be taken out of the team on this occasion is Ollie Watkins.
Having completed the full 90 minutes in each of Villa’s nine previous league games, the striker has only been able to score one goal, which came back in August.
Despite having more shots at goal (18) and shots on target (nine) than any other Villa player in the league this season, the Englishman has the worst rate of goals per shot (0.06) of any player at the Midlands club to have found the net in this campaign.
He also has one of the lowest percentages of completed passes (75.9%) at the club out of players who have attempted at least 100 passes throughout the season.
Earlier this month, journalist Josh Bunting took to Twitter to lambaste Watkins’ performance in Villa’s 0-0 draw against Leeds United, stating: “Ollie Watkins has been shambolic; the ball has bounced off him, hold-up play not good enough at all and he’s been wasteful; his passing has been wayward as well.”
Bearing in mind how Gerrard’s side are loitering dangerously close to the relegation zone, we feel that Villa can’t afford to keep giving Watkins the chance to finally step up and start scoring goals.
For tonight’s game at Fulham, we think that the manager should take the striker out of the starting XI and see if the 26-year-old could be better off being used as an impact substitute if needed.