Jurgen Klopp rates ‘talented’ Ollie Watkins as Gerrard takes over at Aston Villa

Steven Gerrard will already know who his best player at Aston Villa is thanks to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

The Liverpool legend, 41, was appointed as the new Aston Villa manager on Thursday morning after spending two-and-a-half years with Rangers in the Scottish Premiership.

He will take charge of a Villa side which have largely underperformed this season as they sit 16th in the Premier League and just two points clear of the relegation zone.

But Gerrard, who takes over from Dean Smith following his departure on Sunday, has already been given valuable indirect advice by the manager of his former side.

Gerrard has some high quality strikers at his disposal in Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey, who cost the club around £100million in the summer.

Yet the player who has caught Klopp’s attention most is England forward Ollie Watkins, who had the game of his career during Villa’s shock 7-2 win over the Reds last season.

Watkins, 25, netted a first-half hat-trick as his side completely dismantled the Premier League holders at the time.

Do you think Ollie Watkins can become one of the best forwards in the Premier League? Let us know in the comments section.

Klopp commented on Watkins’ display after the match: "As a player, you need these kind of moments.

“Ollie is a really, really talented striker and obviously the manager knew him from before and it was a really good signing.

"The whole Brentford attacking line was exceptional in the Championship season before. So that suits really well, he's physically strong so he can keep the ball, he can jump high, he is very fast. That's a good package.

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"Nobody has to remind me how good he is but how we always try to defend strikers, we try to avoid passes into their area. With him, that's not different than it is to others."

The striker finished the season with 14 league goals, before a dream-come-true debut for England in March which saw him score against San Marino.

Gerrard will hope to get the forward firing again in order to survive the drop with the striker having only scored two this season.

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