By Alex McLeish

12th Aug, 2021 | 4:00pm

McLeish makes 'incredible' Watkins prediction after Aston Villa news

Alex McLeish has tipped Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins to form an “incredible” partnership at Aston Villa this coming season.

The former Villa boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the pair would be an “absolute nightmare” for defenders.

Villa signed Ings from Southampton earlier this month despite Watkins’ impressive debut campaign in the Premier League.

The 25-year-old scored 16 goals after joining the Villans for a then-club record fee from Brentford.

McLeish admitted Watkins had been a “sensation” for Smith’s men.

However, he suggested Ings’ arrival could see a lethal partnership formed at Villa Park.

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McLeish told Football Insider deputy editor Russell Edge: “Dean obviously knows what he’s doing.

He knows the squad very well, the system he wants to play, the strategy he wants to put before the team.

“I’m really interested to see how he’s going to combine Ollie and Danny. Watkins was a sensation last year and Danny Ings was not too far behind him.

“That is an incredible partnership. If you were to get that partnership to play in a system, I am really looking forward to seeing that. To see how Dean deploys them.

“It does look as though it’s two similar players. Danny is more of a penalty box poacher. Ollie Watkins proved that he can run from the halfway line, Ings is quick as well.

“They’re two very quick centre-forwards but Ollie has also got the predatory instincts. Making front post runs, drifting to the back post and the speed.

“Speed in centre-forwards, if they’ve got the technique is well, it’s an absolute nightmare for centre-backs.”

In other news, a Football Insider pundit has rated the transfer dealings at Aston Villa to the rest of the Premier League.