Aston Villa defender Ashley Young has admitted that he was ‘surprised’ after hearing that Ollie Watkins had missed out on Gareth Southgate’s England squad last week.
Watkins has been in exceptional form for Villa over the past couple of months and seems to be thriving under his new boss Unai Emery.
The 27-year-old has netted six goals in his last eight appearances in the Premier League for the Villains, taking his tally for the season to 10 in all competitions.
But his recent upturn in form wasn’t enough to convince Southgate to name in his latest Three Lions squad, as he favoured Ivan Toney as his back-up option to Harry Kane.
And Ashley Young has admitted to TalkSPORT that Southgate’s decision left him surprised.
Young shocked by Watkins England snub
Speaking on the radio station on Wednesday morning, Young discussed Watkins’ snub with Scottish football legend Ally McCoist – who feels the Villa striker has been ‘looking the part’ of late.
“Yeah, he really has,” Young responded. “To be honest, I was surprised that he wasn’t included in the squad.
“For how well he’s been doing and how well he’s been playing. Five in five up until the other day and for a striker, he’s full of confidence and full of goals. What he brings to the team, he brings quality in abundance.
“We’re happy that we’ve got him here and hopefully this week he can rest up and be firing and ready for the final push from now until the end of the season.”
Watkins’ last England call-up came back in March last year as he netted in a friendly against Ivory Coast.
The Villa star has admittedly struggled to establish himself as a prolific goalscorer during his time in the Premier League, but his recent form under Emery is promising.
If he continues to get amongst the goals for Villa between now and the end of the season, it would be no surprise to see Southgate call him up again in the future.
The £28 million man has really stepped up since the club sold Danny Ings in January and Emery will be hoping he continues his brilliant form as Villa bid to secure European football next season.