What a player - Exclusive: Bruce reacts as Aston Villa go all out to sign goal machine

Alex Bruce believes Aston Villa target Ollie Watkins “deserves a chance in the Premier League” after impressing at Brentford.

The former Premier League defender and son of ex-Villa boss Steve, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, warned that Watkins’ lack of Premier League experience means he would carry a “risk.”

As revealed by Football InsiderVilla are plotting a £50million double raid to sign both Watkins and teammate Said Benrahma after Brentford’s play-off heartbreak on Tuesday.

Bruce declared that the 24-year-old is an “excellent player”, following a season which yielded 26 Championship strikes.

However, the ex-defender was apprehensive over his reported price-tag.

“He’s a good player, an unproven Premier League player so it always carries that risk when someone hasn’t played in the league before,” he told Football Insider.

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“However, I think he’s an excellent player and he’s proven what a good player he is in the Championship this year and he deserves a chance in the Premier League.

“Whether Villa go and meet them prices it’s a lot of money to lay out for Championship players but watch this space with it.”

Villa struggled for goals in the second half of the Premier League campaign after summer signing Wesley Moraes suffered a season-ending injury on New Year’s Day.

Dean Smith signed Mbwana Samatta from Genk in January to bolster his attacking options but he managed to find the net just once in 11 starts.

Thomas Frank’s side on the other hand were firing on all cylinders with their BMW partnership of Watkins, Benrahama and Bryan Mbeumo netting 59 goals between them.

This was not enough to propel the Bees into the England’s top-flight for the first time since 1947, as they lost out to West London rivals Fulham in the Championship play-off final on Tuesday.

In other Aston Villa news, one senior star has been tipped to quit the club after Everton make new contact.