London (AFP) – Ollie Watkins has warned Aston Villa’s Premier League rivals they have much more in the locker after the Arsenal fan scored twice in a 3-0 dismantling of the Gunners.
The 24-year-old striker has adapted quickly to the top-flight after signing from Championship side Brentford in September, taking his tally to six goals in seven league games.
Villa’s biggest win at Arsenal since 1928 on Sunday lifted them to sixth in the Premier League — just three points behind leaders Leicester with a game in hand.
It was an impressive return to form for Dean Smith’s side, who had lost successive games to Leeds and Southampton after a stunning start to the season that included a 7-2 win against champions Liverpool.
“I’m not sure my grandad or uncle Baz are going to be too happy,” said Watkins, who joined Villa for a club-record £28 million ($37 million).
“They are Arsenal fans and I am an Arsenal fan myself — but I’m buzzing,” he said. “I am sure they will love it really. I think there is a lot more to come from us.”
Watkins praised manager Smith for turning around Villa’s form — they only escaped relegation on the final day of last season.
Smith knows Watkins well, having signed him for Brentford from Exeter in 2017 when he was manager of the London club.
“I had no doubts Ollie would score goals at this level,” said Smith. “I was always confident he would hit the ground running.
“He is a young man but he has scored a lot of goals.”
One of the key factors in Villa’s resurgence is the understanding that has developed between playmaker Jack Grealish, Watkins and Ross Barkley, who is on loan from Chelsea.
Smith, who guided Villa to the League Cup final last season, said his side’s performance at the Emirates ranked alongside the demolition of Liverpool.
“It’s up there with the Liverpool result, if not better,” said the lifelong Villa fan. “We just looked so composed.
“We played with such intensity with and without the ball. I thought we looked dangerous whenever we went forward.”
Read More:Arsenal fan Watkins says Aston Villa are on the march – World Soccer Talk