Alan Smith tells Arsenal's Arteta to sign 'outstanding' Aston Villa star
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Alan Smith tells Arsenal's Arteta to sign 'outstanding' Aston Villa star

Photo by ALASTAIR GRANT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith believes Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins would be a great fit at Arsenal.

The Gunners are expected to be in the market looking for a new striker, either in January or in the summer. Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could all leave Arsenal, while Folarin Balogun is set for a loan spell.

That will leave us with just Gabriel Martinelli up top, which is simply not enough. Arsenal will have to bring in a top-quality centre-forward, and Smith thinks Watkins would be ideal.

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Alan Smith: Ollie Watkins would be a great signing for Arsenal

The former Arsenal striker, who knows a thing or two about scoring goals, told Sky Sports: “In terms of his movement, maybe Ollie Watkins is a striker I’d have thought Arsenal would look at, but are they looking at him?

“I’m not sure Steven Gerrard would be letting him go in a hurry.

“However, that kind of mobile central striker that will really threaten in behind defenders, perhaps, is a bit more like it.”

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The Insider’s View:

Watkins only joined Aston Villa last season and he took no time to settle into the Premier League. Labelled as ‘outstanding‘ by ex-Villa boss Dean Smith, the striker scored 16 goals and provided five assists in all competitions, which is a sensational return.

The 25-year-old scored three times against us as well last term. He is a quality striker with a lot of potential, but should Arsenal target him over someone like Dusan Vlahovic or Dominic Calvert-Lewin? We don’t think so.

Arteta’s system requires the centre-forward to drop deep and link play up. Watkins is more of a striker who thrives when running in behind the defenders. That’s not what we should be looking at, especially when we have Martinelli, who does exactly that.

It will be interesting to see who Arteta and Edu will go for in one of the next two windows.

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