By Noel Whelan
Noel Whelan has claimed Danny Ings can make himself “undroppable” at Aston Villa if he can turn in a good performance against former side Southampton on Friday (16 September).
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 30-year-old “hasn’t done too much wrong” this term despite his lack of minutes at Villa Park.
As quoted by club media (15 September), Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard revealed talisman Ollie Watkins faces a late fitness test ahead of any potential involvement against Southampton.
Gerrard on his squad: “We have a few issues that we need to make late calls on.
“Ollie Watkins has been unwell, Emi Martínez missed training today and we also had Robin Olsen out of training today.”#AVLSOU pic.twitter.com/sKEKZlXxzN
Ings has started three league games this term and was dropped from the starting lineup after scoring against Everton earlier this season (13 August).
He also registered a goal and an assist in the League Cup win over Bolton last month (23 August).
Whelan insisted Ings is “more potent” than Watkins inside the 18-yard box.
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He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “I don’t think Ings has done too much wrong this season, to be honest.
“You’ve got two centre-forwards at Aston Villa with different attributes and strengths.
“Ollie Watkins is someone who likes to get in behind, whereas Danny Ings is more of a focal point who can bring others into play.
“He’s probably more potent than Watkins in the box, too.
“If Watkins is out, this is absolutely an opportunity for Ings to say: ‘I’m here, I’ve not done a great deal wrong.’
“If he grabs a goal, has a good performance – he becomes undroppable for the next game.”
Cameron Archer will also be vying for a starting berth after his successful loan spell at Preston last term.
Villa sit 17th in the Premier League after winning just one of their first six games.
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