The so-called ’20-goal a season’ striker

I have read so many times this season, the need for a 20-goal-a-season striker at Aston Villa but I think we need to be a little more realistic and back those we currently have.

It is clear to see that Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings are both players who perform better when confident. They need our support when the going gets tough and not for us to get on their backs.

Many Villa fans have stated that we need better if we are to push on to the next level but does this so-call 20-goal-a-season striker exist? And if they did, would they come to a side who finished 14th in the Premier League last season?

Mo Salah and Son Heung-Ming (both 23) were the only two players to score more than 20 in the Premier League last season. The season before, once again only two players scored 20 or more, once again Salah was up there while Son’s strike partner Hary Kane netted 23. Let’s be honest, we are not likely to attract those players.

I’m under the belief that it is down to Steven Gerrard to get the best out of Watkins and Ings this coming season. I believe we have one of, if not the best striking options outside the top 6 in the Premier League.

Ollie Watkins scored 11 goals in 35 appearances last season while Danny Ing had a return of 7 from 30 games. That’s a combined total of 18 but I believe both are capable and should be scoring more, how do they compare to other sides in the Premier League?

Michael Antonio & Said Benrahma (Combined goals: 18)

David Moyes has done a fantastic job with the Hammers over the past few years and last season was no different when they finished the best of the rest in 7th.

Michael Antonio (10) and Said Benrahma (8) scored a combined 18 with another 42 goals coming from the rest of their squad. The Hammers have signed Gianluca Scamacca for around £32million this summer. The striker scored 16 goals in Serie A last season, but again he’s no 20-a-goal-season striker and will be under pressure to perform in a much harder league.

Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy (19)

When a similar question was asked on Twitter a few days ago, one name that was suggested was Kelechi Iheanacho. The Nigerian managed just four league goals last season and his highest total in a Premier League campaign is 12 (in 2021/22). His strike partner Jamie Vardy scored 15 but there is no way he is leaving Leicester and at 35 years old, he is most likely to hang up his boots in the coming years.

Wilfred Zaha (14)

Wilfred Zaha scored 14 goals last season but he tends to play off the wing and not upfront. Their next top scorer was a midfielder, on loan from Chelsea, Conor Gallagher with 8. Although we would all love to see the latter in a Villa shirt, I don’t think Zaha would be what we are looking for – even if he would consider coming to Villa. Which I don’t think he would and neither do I think Villa would pay Crystal Palace’s asking price.


Other names mentioned included Ivan Toney (12), Teemu Pukki (11) and Callum Wilson (8). Brentford’s Toney isn’t a bad shout, I must admit but is he any better than what we currently have? His second season in the Premier League will most likely answer that question.

Pukki, although in the Championship, is 32 years old so I don’t see Villa going there and Wilson is very unlikely to leave Newcastle anytime soon.

Of course, we could look abroad like West Ham has but there are no guarantees. He could very much make a similar impact as Christian Benteke or he could be the next Wesley. The English game is a lot different to European leagues and that gem doesn’t come around very often.

Watkins and Ings will be under pressure this season, especially with Cameron Archer pushing them and I think this could prove to work in Villa’s favour. Villa also needs goals from the rest of the team. Our strikers scored a third of our goals last season and I think that in itself tells a story.

All this talk and if Watkins or Ings scores against Bournemouth on Saturday and no doubt, all will be forgotten.

Original Source: A Villa Fan

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