Aston Villa boss Dean Smith praises ‘excellent’ Ollie Watkins after his goal in the Everton win … while Martin Keown backs the in-form forward to win a place on Gareth Southgate’s England team for the euro.
- Dean Smith is delighted with Ollie Watkins and his progress at Aston Villa
- The newly capped England international opened the score against Everton
- Martin Keown said he would include him as part of Gareth Southgate’s Euros team
Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith is delighted with the progress striker Ollie Watkins has made this season and said his performance in the 2-1 win over Everton was one of his best.
The newly capped England international’s 15th club goal of the season was wiped out by Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 20th of the campaign in the first half.
But Anwar El Ghazi scored for the second consecutive game with a brilliant curling effort 10 minutes from time when Villa won at Goodison Park for the first time since 2008.
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith praised Ollie Watkins ‘excellent’ after his goal at Everton
The newly capped England international put Villa ahead with his 15th club goal of the season
‘I thought he was good tonight and difficult to get along with. We paid a lot of money for that, ‘said Smith of the decision to sign Watkins of Brentford for £ 28 million in the summer.
‘I knew what he was and what he was like as a person and how he wanted to grow and get better. I thought he was excellent tonight.
He got the defender (Mason Holgate) right to score his goal and I thought Jordan Pickford had regained a tie with some of the saves against him.
‘I think his game has gotten better. I’ve always said he is one of the best striker in the Premier League, and that’s a huge commendation indeed. He supports that with goals.
“He’s a guy who often beat himself up when he missed opportunities, but he gets over that much faster now and that’s a sign of a really hungry and young top player.”
Martin Keown claimed he would bring both Watkins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (C) to the euro
Speaking of Watkins after the game, BT Sport pundit Martin Keown said, “Him [Watkins] has messed up Everton’s defense and has real pace and energy.
‘You can see from the start that he wants it. He’s thrilled. He has Dominic Calvet-Lewin on the field and came out on top against him.
He exploited the space, dictated the game, and was a willing runner. It was naive of Everton, but his intelligence was excellent and his form comes at just the right time for England and Aston Villa.
“I would bring Calvert-Lewin and Watkins to the euro, because you now have 26 players and it also gives Southgate opportunities.”