Darren Bent claims it will be near impossible for Dean Smith to keep all his strikers happy as Aston Villa close in on the signing of Ollie Watkins from Brentford.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa and England hitman suggests that the tactics employed by the boss mean that he will not be able to offer his centre-forward options the game time they desire.

As revealed by Football Insider, Villa are closing in on the £20million-plus signing of the 24-year-old ace after a breakthrough in transfer negotiations between the two clubs.

The Brentford star would become the fourth first-team striker at Villa Park with Wesley Moraes, Mbwana Samatta and Keinan Davis already at Dean Smith’s disposal.

Bent believes that it will be impossible to keep all the centre-forwards happy and that the Villa boss cannot afford to add any more to his squad if Watkins does sign.

Bent told Football Insider: “They’ve got Wesley to come back, they could get Watkins – what you don’t want is a load of strikers.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“They’ve got Davis, they’ve got Samatta, they’ve got Wesley, if they get Ollie Watkins in as well that’s four and another one in that’s five. The way they play, they rarely play a two, you’re picking one striker out of five and trying to keep the other four happy.

“That’s obviously not going to happen, so I would probably look to get Ollie Watkins in and then leave it there. It looks like Ollie Watkins will be off because you don’t sign Ivan Toney, who was superb for Peterborough in League One if you’re not going to play him.” 

Wesley was Villa’s top-scoring centre forward last season with six goals across all competitions.

Watkins meanwhile netted 26 times in 50 games for Brentford as he fired the Bees to the Championship play-off semi-finals.

In other Aston Villa news, Bent has urged Smith to bin a “weak” 2019 signing.