STEVEN GERRARD thinks Ollie Watkins is Aston Villa’s answer to Fernando Torres.
Gerrard says he is seeing the 26-year-old England striker at his best and wants him and Danny Ings to ensure their partnership produces goals.
The Villa boss saw both players find the net in Saturday’s 4-0 demolition of Southampton.
Now he wants to bring that form to Leeds tonight and turn Villa into three straight wins for the first time this season.
Watkins ended a seven-game drought with two goals in as many games after being knocked out.
Gerrard finds similarities with Torres, his former Liverpool team-mate.
He said: “I picture Ollie at his best when he’s really front-footed, aggressive with this interdental part.
“He is a lovely player with the goals he scores and his technical ability. He reminds me of Fernando Torres in so many ways. Ollie has that physical presence and build.
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“It was a case of Ollie refocusing. I got him out of the way.
“Since that time he seems to have returned to his aggressiveness in training, that gaze is back and that is where we need him.
“When he was in that trench, he was a real big asset to this team. But with Ollie and Danny Ings – let’s start building this relationship.
“I said ‘Two people are the key to it. You have to believe in it and want to make it a success yourself’. The last few weeks they definitely have. “
Gerrard admits he will face stiff competition for Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho on loan.
He added: “If you told me a lot of people would be looking at him after his form for Aston Villa, I would have accepted that.
“We have an option on Phil at the end of the season. We will make a decision when the time is right. “
Negotiations have opened with Ashley Young, 36, over a new deal.
Gerrard said: “There have been discussions. I made it clear to Ash that I wanted him to stay. “
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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4860895/aston-villa-steven-gerrard-ollie-watkins-fernando-torres/ Steven Gerrard compares Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins to his former Liverpool teammate Fernando Torres