Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says that Wesley admitted he was not at his best in the 2-2 home draw against Burnley on Saturday, as per the club’s official website.
Smith also namechecked 21-year-old Keinan Davis as pushing for the striker’s spot in the side, saying he is improving all the time.
Smith said: “Young Keinan Davis is getting better and better. I’ve spoken to Wes, I didn’t think it was Wes’s best game on Saturday and Wes would be the first to admit that. And he certainly did to myself.
“He knows Keinan is pushing him, they are both young lads, there’s only months between their ages, unfortunately, one of them is carrying a big price tag on their head.”
TBR’s View – Smith has shown he has no qualms entrusting a young striker to lead the line
If the main counter argument against trusting Davis to lead the Villa line is his youth and inexperience, Smith has already shown he will gamble on young strikers.
Last season, he backed Tammy Abraham to fire Villa out of the Championship and he duly obliged. Then, when it became clear Abraham would return to Chelsea, he spent big on 22-year-old Wesley.
That should hearten Davis that he has a genuine shot of being handed a shot as the lone striker. For Smith, the question is how long does he stick with Wesley and when does he take him out of the firing line?
That’s why he earns the money and getting that call right could have a major impact on Villa’s season.