By Anthony Onifade

6th Oct, 2023 | 12:08pm

Aston Villa finalise new contract for Ollie Watkins, announcement to follow - David Ornstein

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins is on the verge of signing a new five-year contract at Aston Villa in yet another masterstroke behind-the-scenes decision at Villa Park.

The Athletic journalist David Ornstein, taking to his personal Twitter account (6 October) shared that the England international will sign a new deal until 2028, with an announcement expected soon at Villa Park.

The 27-year-old has been in stellar form so far this campaign, registering a whopping seven goals in 11 games in all competitions which certainly highlighted Villa’s need to tie him down to a new deal with a number of elite clubs possibly on alert to his contract situation.

Ornstein tweeted: “Ollie Watkins on verge of signing new 5yr contract at Aston Villa. Existing deal 2025 – fresh terms will secure 27yo England int’l striker until 2028.

“Club finalising agreement & if all goes to plan announcement to follow soon.”

Watkins recently was rewarded with his stunning form for Aston Villa, with a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad this week on 5 October and it’s a decision which is totally justified with Harry Kane the only English striker who’s bagged more goals so far this season.

This season, apart from the four league goals, he’s also got three assists to his name and that’s not something that gets spoken about often.

Watkins has certainly become a well-rounded component for Emery, not only capable of scoring goals but creating them, ranking in the 82nd percentile for strikers in Europe’s top five leagues for assists per 90, and the 88th percentile for goal-creating actions per 90 [FBRef].

The former Brentford man is also involved in 2.65 shot-creating actions per 90 minutes this season and a non-penalty xG of 0.5 which shows that apart from being clinical, he’s also finding himself in the right place at the right time and is being involved in the build-up as well.

Last season proved an instant success for Watkins, especially since Emery’s arrival as he finished with a tremendous 15 goals and six assists in the Premier League and 16 in all competitions, meaning the Villans simply could not afford to lose him over the summer as they looked to undertake a exciting assault on the European stage as well as domestically.

Fabrizio Romano reported on Sunday morning (1 October) that Villa are pushing to get Watkins tied down to a new contract “as soon as possible” and it certainly seems as if both parties have already crossed the I’s and dotted the T’s in what is yet another masterstoke decision by the Aston Villa bosses to tie down their most prized asset.

In other Aston Villa news, Dan Bardell has told Emery to keep this “high-profile” player away from Villa Park this season.