Dean Smith claims Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins is best in Premier League in one area
Dean Smith has been quoted by BBC Sport’s Live coverage of Wednesday night’s league matches as saying that when it comes to pressing, there is no centre-forward better than Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins in the Premier League.
Watkins, 25, took his tally to 16 goals for the season in all competitions – and 14 for the Premier League – as the England international netted the winner. Villa came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur in North London.
A brilliant win for Villa but a massive dent for Tottenham, which sees them slip into seventh and with one game to play – they have to rely on Southampton getting a win against West Ham, and themselves beating Leicester City.
Asked about Watkins after the comeback win – which saw a Sergio Reguilon own goal cancel out Steven Bergwijn’s opener – Smith made the massive claim that Watkins is better at pressing than any other Premier League no.9.
“He’s the best pressing centre forward in the league in my opinion. He earned the goal himself. It was a great performance from Ollie and he’ll probably feel he could have had a couple more,” Smith said.
TBR’s view – Is Watkins really the best in the league?
Jamie Vardy seriously has to be a contender when it comes to centre-forwards that put the pressure on. Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino is up there too, with Liverpool renowned for pressing under Jurgen Klopp.
Everton’s Dom Calvert-Lewin, Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford, Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and plenty more are excellent when it comes to work rate and deserve a mention – but Watkins is certainly up there.
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