By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

8th Mar, 2023 | 7:10am

Aston Villa want new centre-forward as they seek European football - BBC pundit

We’re delighted to welcome former Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Villa Park

Alan Hutton believes Aston Villa will want to sign a new centre-forward to aid their dream of returning to European competition.

Danny Ings left Villa Park to join West Ham in the January transfer window and while Jhon Duran arrived in the West Midlands from Chicago Fire, the 19-year-old is widely seen as one for the future.

Ings’ exit left Ollie Watkins as Unai Emery’s only senior striker option.

While Watkins, 27, has been in fine form since the turn of the year by scoring five goals in six Premier League matches, Hutton still believes extra competition up front will only improve things at B6.

“Managers also want to add new options to their squad, especially when it comes to the attacking third and goalscorers,” Hutton told Villa News.

I’m not surprised. Danny Ings has left and they brought Jhon Duran in from the USA – but he’s only young.

He’s showing good signs at this time but I think you do need that prolific goalscorer within your ranks to push one another.

I think they will be looking. Villa have aspirations of playing European football and to do that, you do need a strong squad.

They’ll be looking at all positions.”

Ings and Watkins competed for a spot in the starting line-up under Steven Gerrard but Watkins really stamped his authority this season, ahead of Ings’ move to West Ham.

Tammy Abraham has been linked with a return to Villa Park but iNews reported on 2 March that it would take £67million to prise him away from Roma.

In other Aston Villa news, a football finance expert has reacted to Villa’s payment to former owner Randy Lerner.