By Sam Stone

7th Apr, 2023 | 11:30am

Christian Purslow wants Aston Villa masterclass in talks with Ollie Watkins over new long-term contract

Ollie Watkins is in the form of his life at the moment and the latest news on the Aston Villa striker will delight the Villa Park faithful.

The Daily Mail claim (7 April) the 27-year-old is now in talks with the club over a new deal, with his current contract set to expire in the summer of 2025.

It’s understood the striker will be made one of the club’s highest-paid players if he does commit his future to the West Midlanders and it would be a superb piece of work from Christian Purslow and the board. Watkins has eight goals in his last ten Premier League fixtures and has been Villa’s standout performer under Unai Emery.

There’s clearly been a dramatic improvement in his performance levels since the Spaniard arrived at Villa Park and Danny Ings secured his exit to West Ham United.

The 27-year-old was often criticised for his wayward finishing and being accused of passing up guilt edge chances, however, something has changed during this run of form.

His finishing ability has become fine-tuned, with his recent performance against Leicester another example of the striker impressing in front of goal.

According to Wyscout, he managed 100 per cent shot accuracy against the Foxes and this hasn’t been a one-off occurrence during his fine run of form. He’s been consistently hitting the target and this has resulted in a significant increase in the number of goals he’s scored.

Furthermore, Ings’ departure has seen Watkins become Villa’s main man. He’s being utilised centrally and due to the lack of options on the bench, he knows he will consistently start under Emery. It’s clear it’s given him a new-found confidence in front of goal, which has seen a composed side to his game come to the fore.

For example, his goal against Chelsea was a smart dink over Kepa Arrizabalaga. Earlier on in the season, the former Brentford man would’ve put his foot through the ball instead of choosing to lob the keeper.

It’s these small differences which have been noticeable under the Spaniard and if he does commit his future to Villa, it will be a major coup by Purslow and the board.

Let’s hope this one is tied up before the summer window opens.

In other Aston Villa news, a senior player may never feature for the club again after recent news emerges, making a summer exit very much on the cards.