Speaking of Grealish, he is one of the most talked about players in Europe right now, but the arrival of Watkins has only strengthened his ability to cause problems for the opposition team.
The way in which Watkins presses and makes intelligent runs allows Grealish space to drive into and gives him a viable outlet, something that was not evident last season, a worrying thought for any opposing manager.
Despite playing an integral part and being potentially the sole reason Villa scraped safety last year, Grealish has once again gone up a gear, and with respect to Wesley and Mbwana Samatta, this has a lot to do with influence of selfless running and the ability of the energetic Watkins.
Wesley’s 21 games last season were heavily criticised amongst some sections of the Villa Park faithful, but his long-awaited return might just give Villa another dimension with the ability to play two up top. Although, Wesley as a player likes to drop deep to get involved with build up play, a style which can see the middle of the park congested but with the arrival of Watkins, and his on the shoulder style, the likes of Grealish, Traore and El Ghazi have flourished. Highlighted perfectly with the team’s performance against the highline of Liverpool, which allowed Villa’s creative talent to thread balls through at will for the pacey Watkins.
Watkins style of play stretches the opposition defence, creating space for the three behind him to cause havoc and attack the opposition defence, Grealish himself has made the most entries into the box with 55, the most in Europe’s top five leagues. Add that to the impressive form of the rejuvenated El Ghazi, who has scored more goals in five games than he did all last season, it suggests that Watkins’ influence is being felt more than just the number of times he puts the ball in the back of the net.