What Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer said about Ollie Watkins on his scoring ability

According to Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer, he lacks the qualities required to dine at the top table.
Ollie Watkins is having his best season in an Aston Villa shirt, but former star strikers Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer think he is not a “elite forward.” The 27-year-old has scored seven goals in eleven games, including a hat-trick in Aston Villa’s 6-1 thrashing of Brighton on Saturday.

The three goals extend his Premier League tally to four, putting him in joint fourth place with Odsonne Edouard, Evan Ferguson, Hwang Hee-Chan, Alexander Isak, Bryan Mbeumo, Bukayo Saka, and Callum Wilson.

Despite only being outgunned by Jarrod Bowen, Son Heung-Min, and Erling Haaland, Lineker, Shearer, and Micah Richards have questioned his finishing. “I like him, he’s certainly very willing, and he’s always going to try to get in behind,” Shearer remarked on the Rest is Football Podcast.

Premier League: Watkins with hat-trick as Villa hits six past Brighton -  Daily Trust

“I don’t think he’s a great finisher, and I think his technique sometimes lets him down, but he’ll always get you in and around, between 10 and 20 goals, which is exactly what a Premier League club needs and wants.” I don’t think he’s elite, but he’s definitely at the next level.”

Richards added: “He’s probably not the most natural of finishers, and I always ask the question, can you improve that and we’ve talked about the technical aspect of shooting but is something got to do with the way you slow down before you shoot as well? Because a lot of the strikes I see of Watkins, he’s almost fluffing sometimes the shots because he’s rushing it. I just mean how can he get into the next level?”

Lineker responded: “It’s a hard one, because we both played up front and we’ve got some decent records in terms of international and domestic football. But I think it’s a natural thing, I think it’s a calmness under pressure, I think it’s to be cold at the right moment and not to get too emotional.

“It’s instant decision making, and I believe that’s a natural talent.” You can clearly practice your finishing, which is something you can work on a lot. But I believe what you can really concentrate about mentally is your movement and how you get yourself into spaces, which I don’t think many strikers understand, rather than waiting to see where the ball is going to go and then attacking the ball.”

“Calmness under pressure, I’m not sure you can learn that,” he concluded. You either have it or you don’t, and I believe that making the proper decision on a finish comes with confidence, expertise, and tranquility.”

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