By Tam McManus

5th Nov, 2022 | 1:13pm

Aston Villa to spend 'big money' on Ollie Watkins replacement after source's reveal - pundit

Aston Villa will spend big on a new striker in January to replace the misfiring Ollie Watkins.

That’s according to former Hibernian striker Tam McManus, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the job looming over the new Villa boss.

Sources told Football Insider last week (27 October) that the club’s owners are set to hand new boss Unai Emery a “huge” transfer kitty for the January and summer transfer windows in 2023.

Villa have struggled in front of goal this season with Danny Ings the club’s top scorer after scoring four in all competitions.

As per BBC Sport, Watkins has a goal conversion rate of just 9%, scoring twice from 23 shots in the Premier League this season.

McManus insists a new striker will be top of Emery’s transfer wishlist.

Click below for exclusive transfer news

“They offered nothing against Newcastle last week, no shots on target,” McManus told Football Insider‘s Ben Wild.

“What has happened to Ollie Watkins? I feel like he wasn’t at it last season and now I think he has only scored once or twice this season now.

“That’s a major issue for them. Take Newcastle for example, Wilson has six goals, Almiron has seven now. Goalscorers win you games and I don’t think Villa have many of those.

“That has to be where Villa spend big money in January. Go out and get a striker who will get you 15 or 20 goals a season. That’s what they need.”

Emery officially started work on Wednesday (2 November) after a minor issue with his work permit was resolved.

His first game in charge comes against Man United on Sunday (6 November).

In other news, an ex-Fifa official has demanded a Premier League law change after an Emiliano Martinez controversy at Aston Villa.