Exclusive: Savage names Aston Villa talent as surprise pick among Liverpool, Tottenham stars as best Premier League players this season

Robbie Savage has named Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins as one of three Premier League players of the year so far

Robbie Savage has named Ollie Watkins as one of three Premier League players of the year so far

Robbie Savage has named an in-form Aston Villa star as his surprise pick among players from Liverpool and Tottenham as one of his three players of the season so far in the Premier League.

Unai Emery’s side have enjoyed an excellent start to the new season, continuing where they left off under the Spaniard last season. And while Aston Villa could only manage a 1-1 draw at Wolves in the Premier League on Sunday, the Villans are sat fifth in the Premier League with five wins and two defeats from their eight games so far.

Having finished seventh last time around, there are some who believe the Midlanders could even mount a surprise push for the top four spots this season. And while they will have to be at their best to achieve that, they are one of the Premier League’s form teams of the calendar year.

Leading the way for Villa has been striker and top scorer Ollie Watkins. The 27-year-old frontman has seven goals in 11 games to his name so far this season, his superb form catching the attention of both Arsenal and Chelsea ahead of the winter window.

The striker, however, is on the cusp of signing a new deal at Villa Park, cementing his future to the club until 2028. An announcement on that front is likely to be made shortly.

As a result, Savage has told TEAMtalk why Watkins is fully worthy of his recent England recall and believes the former Brentford man has to be considered as one of the Premier League’s three best players so far this season.

Alongside the Villa star, Savage has also selected players of Tottenham and Liverpool.

IN DEPTH ~ The Premier League table of 2023: Villa in the Champions League positions

Watkins, Szoboszlai and Maddison the three best players so far this season

Explaining his choices, Robbie Savage believes Watkins deserves an awful lot of credit.

“You have to look at the way Spurs have started the season, top of the Premier League, and I think the signing of James Maddison was fantastic. He’s got five assists in the Premier League and two goals; the way he plays, the way the team are playing, the way Big Ange has implemented his style on Spurs, but Maddison is instrumental into the way they play. WHAT a signing he’s been; value for money, he’s been the best signing of the summer.

“Ollie Watkins for Aston Villa – seven goals in all competitions – and Unai Emery’s side are flying and doing exceptionally well. Emery has got them playing some fantastic football, scoring lots of goals and Watkins is right at the heart of that. He’s got a deserved call-up to the England squad off the back of that; it’s really well deserved.”

Revealing his final choice, Savage has also been impressed by Liverpool’s summer signing Dominik Szoboszlai, who has made a mockery of his £60m fee and settled in extremely quickly into Premier League life at Anfield.

Explaining why the Hungarian also makes his shortlist, Savage continued: “I think Szoboszlai for Liverpool has been superb. I think he’s only got two goals but the way Liverpool are playing and the way that Jurgen Klopp has transformed that midfield – they are far more dynamic than they were last season – and I think Szoboszlai has played a huge part of that.

“Liverpool and Arsenal are the ones who can challenge Man City [for the Premier League title] and while Spurs have had a great start, I’m not sure they can finish as close to City as the others….”

DON’T MISS ~ Exclusive: Tottenham told why title glory is not possible under Postecoglou as major weakness is named