Dean Smith has heaped praise on Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins after he netted the winning goal against Arsenal on Saturday.
Watkins enjoyed his best goalscoring campaign to date last season for Brentford in the Championship. He netted 26 times from his 50 appearances in all competitions.
This took his tally for the Londoners to 49 from his 143 appearances. Watkins was brought to Brentford by current Aston Villa boss Dean Smith.
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Smith linked back up with his former player this summer as the Villans signed for the forward for a club-record fee of £28m.
The 25-year-old has hit the ground running for his new club. He has 12 goals and two assists from his 24 appearances in all competitions.
He was sitting on nine Premier League goals prior to Aston Villa’s game against Arsenal on Saturday.
Watkins scored the only goal at Villa Park after just two minutes to move to double-figures in his debut season in the top flight.
This win moved Villa up to eighth in the Premier League and they have games in hand on those around them. Speaking post-match, as cited by Sports Mole, Smith lauded the impact of Watkins:
“I think every week we’re speaking very well of his performance, and that’s what he brings to the team.
“He’s selfless in terms of what his work-rate is. He’s such a good footballer but a good team-mate as well.
“It’s no surprise to me he has got into double figures already in the Premier League in 21 games.
“The football that Brentford were playing last season was Premier League football, Premier League ready, so I knew he was ready to come in.”