Aston Villa are set to keep hold of striker Ollie Watkins this summer, despite interest from West Ham United.
The West Midlands side have had a productive summer so far, having made four senior additions to the side already, with Philippe Coutinho, Boubacar Kamara, Diego Carlos and Robin Olsen making permanent moves to Villa Park already this transfer window.
But Crook believes that Steven Gerrard has no intention of letting the former Brentford man go, despite the striker’s struggles when playing in a partnership with Danny Ings.
“They’re reasonably well-stocked, aren’t they?” Crook said.
“They’ve got Ollie Watkins and they’ve got Danny Ings, and they didn’t really seem to find the right solution to get them both into the team.”
“I know West Ham have got an interest in Ollie Watkins, but Villa have no plans to sell him.”
Our thoughts on Crook’s comments
Villa fans will be buzzing to hear that one of their star players is likely to stay for next season, with a big campaign ahead for the 26-year-old.
The seven-time England international was Villa’s top goalscorer last season, scoring 11 goals in 36 appearances for the club over the course of the campaign according to Transfermarkt, though he will be hoping for a better return next season.
Watkins is a persistent goal threat though, and produced 72 shot-creating actions last term, which rates at 2.20 per 90 minutes, according to FBref.
The forward has been dubbed “an absolute work-force” by QueGolazoPod host Luis Miguel Echegaray, and it’s clear to see why.
The 5 foot 11 tireless striker is very much a team player and leads from the front, ranking in the top 8% of strikers across Europe’s top five leagues for blocks per 90 minutes (1.28) according to FBref.
A 6.90 SofaScore rating for his Premier League performance over the last campaign suggests that the 26-year-old was an often-reliable performer for the West Midlands side last season, though he will hope to do it on a more consistent basis in 2022/23.
We believe that it is brilliant news for Gerrard and Villa fans alike that Watkins is likely to remain at Villa Park next season, with the club seemingly heading in a positive direction, he may just step it up another level come the next campaign.