By Noel Whelan

9th Aug, 2021 | 8:45pm

Watkins tipped for new Aston Villa role after 'outstanding' news confirmed - Whelan

Ollie Watkins could adopt a wide forward position now that Danny Ings has signed for Aston Villa.

So says ex-Premier League attacker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Villa confirmed the signing on 4th August.

The Midlands club paid Southampton £25million for the 29-year-old centre-forward and he joins on a three-year deal.

Watkins, who joined Villa last summer, was Dean Smith’s side’s top scorer last term with 16 goals in all competitions.

He played in a conventional striker’s role for 39 of his 40 appearances last season.

But Whelan insists he could move out wide in order to accommodate new signing Ings.

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“I think we’ve seen Ollie Watkins play in wider areas for Brentford,” he told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.

“Just because he’s playing out wide, doesn’t mean he can’t go and score goals. That’s brilliant news for Aston Villa, you have to say.

“He’ll still be expected to get in the box from wide areas. I did it at Coventry and was top scorer from that kind of role, so it can be done.

“He’s got that pace that can hurt teams from wide areas, getting in behind them and causing problems.

“He and Ings will be looking to form a partnership as quickly as possible, and what a partnership that will be. He’s an amazing player.”

Ings netted 13 times in 33 appearances for Southampton as they finished 15th last term.

That took his tally at St. Mary’s to 46 in 100 matches across all competitions.

In other news, Aston Villa hijack Premier League rival’s deal to sign EFL rising star after bid submitted.