By Villa News Speaking to Alan Hutton

7th Apr, 2023 | 9:01am

Aston Villa: Ollie Watkins development emerges as BBC pundit blown away by 'incredible' stat

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 has been raving about Ollie Watkins amid news that the in-form striker is in talks to sign a new contract at Aston Villa.

The Daily Mail reported on Friday morning (7 April) that the 27-year-old’s existing deal still has another two years left on it but discussions are now underway over extending his agreement as well as offering him a pay rise.

It is understood that the Villans will “make him one of their highest earners” if they manage to agree fresh terms with the ex-Brentford star.

Watkins has scored eight goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances and Hutton believes that Danny Ings’ move to West Ham in January may have proven to be a catalyst for the seven-times England international.

Speaking to Villa News amid Watkins’ contract update, Hutton said: “After Ings left, there was probably more pressure on Watkins, knowing that he’s the starter, the main man and that he has to score the goals. And he’s stepped up to the plate.

I read somewhere that he’s scored in the last six away games, which is incredible.

He’s really taken it on his shoulders and ran with it. It’s made him better and made him hungrier knowing that he’s that main man.

Villa did switch now and then between Ings and Watkins so he’s come out of it very well.

But I still think Villa will bring in another striker in the summer, not as competition but to help Watkins out. There’s a lot of weight on him to score those goals at this moment in time.”

Watkins’ form has helped fire Unai Emery’s side up the Premier League table.

They’ve won five of their last six league fixtures and currently sit in seventh position, which could land the Villans a spot in European football next season if they finish there.

In other Aston Villa news, the club’s academy staff have been slammed over a Phil Foden nickname.