I’ve always thought Villa are in the Big Six


Stephen Warnock on Aston Villa



Former Aston Villa defender Stephen Warnock has told NewBettingOffers.co.uk that with a Champions League spot secured and under the tutelage of the ‘phenomenal’ Unai Emery, Villa are a ‘Big Six’ team capable of pulling big talent this summer.

Read more on what he had to say below.

Aston Villa has become an attractive team for players this season

Warnock was piling on the praise for his former club Aston Villa and Unai Emery, claiming that following their performance this season, they enter the transfer market this summer as a ‘desirable’ team having consolidated their status as a ‘Top Eight’ team.

As a former Aston Villa player, I would have always said that a club of Villa’s stature, history and the support they’ve got as a club, they are in the Big Six. I’d say though that there is now more of a Big Eight, including Villa, Newcastle, Chelsea and Spurs.

I think when we look at Villa as a club, their ownership and where they could potentially get to with the Champions League revenue coming in and Unai Emery as manager, they can now go into the transfer market as a desirable team that players will want to join.

Tactically, Emery is phenomenal and I’ve watched him at work first-hand – I wish I’d worked with him as a player. His level of detail and the way he’s changed the way footballers think and work is absolutely fascinating.

If you’re a player and you get something instantly and think to yourself, ‘yeah, I get that now’, they’ll buy into it. On the other hand, if you’re told that something will work for you in a year or two, it’s too late and too far away – Emery gives you instant results on the training pitch as well as on match day. It’s incredible how he tactically understands the game and allows the players to as well.

Unai Emery is a “perfect match” for Villa and has the capacity to drastically improve inbound transfers

Warnock then commented on how big a pull having Champions League football is for Villa – but was quick to praise Emery on how he has helped players including Pau Torres and Moussa Diaby become Champions League calibre themselves.

Having Champions League football for the players is huge. There will be players at other clubs who probably aren’t expecting to play Champions League football, and could be a £30-40m player who Emery feels he can improve and add value to.

I think that’s the great thing about having someone like Emery, he can identify those players and make them better straight away. There were a lot of transfers in the summer like Pau Torres and you’re thinking whether he’ll make Villa better but when you watch him play how Emery wants him to, he’s improved him and made him better in a short space of time. I know he worked with him at Villarreal but it’s so different coming from the Spanish League to the Premier League.

I look at Moussa Diaby and I think he’s going to be unbelievable next season. He’s just fatigued this season with far too many games and the injuries that they’ve got. There will be players who get the phone call from Emery now and will be so excited to work with him.

That’s what Villa needed, that big manager, and the fact he signed an extension shows how happy he is at the club and what they’re trying to do as a club. They’re a perfect match.

It wouldn’t surprise me if “main man” Watkins stays at Villa, but £70 million could turn Villa’s head

There’s been plenty of talk about star man Ollie Watkins being snapped up by bigger clubs this summer, and although Warnock felt that under Emery there is still big opportunity, an offer of £70m+ could change things.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Ollie Watkins signed a new contract at Villa soon, it really wouldn’t. If Villa were clever, they’d get it done before the Euros and I think they will. From Watkins’ point of view, he’s got to look back and think about what else it is he wants, he’s got Champions League football next season.

Is he going to play at Liverpool or Arsenal and get a regular spot in the starting eleven? Possibly, he could do. But, he knows he’s the main go-to guy at Villa. He knows he’s got a manager that will improve him and also will pick him if he has five bad games.

That’s why having a manager who believes in you and trusts you is so important. I think there will be clubs that try and turn his head, but I think he’s in a place at Villa where he’s very happy.

If you’re talking about £70 million for Ivan Toney, you’ve got to be thinking close to £90 million for Watkins. The way he plays the game and from what he’s done this season I think anywhere between £70-90 million would turn their heads.

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