By Daniel Lewis

27th Aug, 2023 | 5:10pm

Ollie Watkins proves his worth to Aston Villa in dominant team display v Burnley

Ollie Watkins may not have been on the scoresheet for Aston Villa in their Premier League meeting with Burnley on Sunday [27 August], but the striker more than played his part in the 3-1 victory.

On the back of scoring a hat-trick against Hibernian on Wednesday [23 August] – making him the first Villa player to net a treble in a European fixture since Stan Collymore in 1998-99 – he assisted the first of Matty Cash’s two goals at Turf Moor.

That was the eighth Premier League goal Watkins has assisted since the start of last season – the most of any striker in the division [Squawka].

The 27-year-old really should have made it four goals in four games this season, only to fire a close-range shot straight at James Trafford in the second half – one of five shots he had without scoring [WhoScored] – the most of any player on the field without netting.

When not scoring, though, Watkins is still creating, as highlighted by his two key passes – a tally no Villa player could better.

Throw into the mix his team joint-high two aerial duels won, and it is clear that Watkins is the ideal man to lead Unai Emery’s attack, even if he is yet to get off the mark with his first Premier League goal this campaign.

It was yet another dominant attacking team display from the Villans, who have now scored 12 goals in three games since losing heavily at Newcastle United on the opening weekend.

And Villa’s attack is only getting stronger, with Emery introducing Nicolo Zaniolo for his debut in the second half in Lancashire.

Watkins will be eager for his league goal drought to end soon, but it matters little if he continues to play a part in other ways in one of Europe’s hottest attacks right now.

In other Aston Villa news, a player is reportedly close to departing Villa Park.