# Ollie Watkins Backed for England Recall by Aston Villa Manager Unai Emery
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has backed Ollie Watkins for an England recall following his hat-trick against Brighton. The 27-year-old has started the season in impressive form, and with Gareth Southgate set to name his England squad for the upcoming internationals against Australia and Italy on Thursday, Emery believes Watkins is in with a chance of being selected.
“I am very happy with him and his commitment to the club is really great,” said Emery of Watkins. “He is being always ready to learn and he’s closer to going with the national team I think because he’s started the season very good. Even when he didn’t score in other matches, he was working very well.”
Villa are currently fifth in the Premier League after seven matches, but were defeated 3-2 in their Europa Conference League opener by Legia Warsaw last week. Thursday’s game at Villa Park is their first European game at the stadium for 13 years, and Emery is keen to make it a successful one: “For me it’s about trying to write a new history here, and playing in Europe, the difficulty is every team is very excited in Europe, and to play against Premier League teams is a challenge.”
He added: “We must win tomorrow. The first match we played and we lost, now the points are more important. It’s not about thinking to play under pressure, it’s about needing to play well, to play with personality, to try to impose our idea and get those three points.”
Ollie Watkins has been a key player for Aston Villa this season, and his impressive form has seen him backed for an England recall by manager Unai Emery. With Gareth Southgate set to name his squad for the upcoming internationals against Australia and Italy on Thursday, Watkins could be in line for a call up if he continues his impressive form for Villa over the coming weeks.
The 27-year-old has already scored four goals in seven Premier League appearances this season, and his hat-trick against Brighton last week was a reminder of his quality in front of goal. With Villa set to face HSK Zrinjski at Villa Park in the Europa Conference League on Thursday night, Watkins will have another opportunity to prove his worth as he looks to force his way into Southgate’s plans for the upcoming internationals.
Emery has been impressed with Watkins’ commitment to the club this season, and believes he is getting closer to an England call up: “He is being always ready to learn and he’s closer to going with the national team I think because he’s started the season very good,” said Emery. “Even when he didn’t score in other matches, he was working very well.”
Villa will be hoping that Watkins can continue his impressive form as they look to secure their first European victory at Villa Park for 13 years on Thursday night, and with an England call up potentially on the horizon, it could be a memorable week for the 27-year-old forward.