Morgan Rogers’ impact at Aston Villa: Strength, skill and the ideal fit for Unai Emery since signing in January | Football News

The signing of the January window? How Morgan Rogers hit the ground running at Aston Villa to propel their top-four push, with exclusive insight from Michael Appleton, the man who gave the 21-year-old attacking player his Football League debut…

By Adam Bate, Comment and Analysis @ghostgoal

Ollie Watkins was the star of Aston Villa’s win over Bournemouth last time out, setting up the last two goals, but he could not have done it without Morgan Rogers. Villa could not have sustained this Champions League push without Rogers.

Since arriving from Middlesbrough in January for an initial fee of £8m, the 21-year-old signing has been a huge hit under Unai Emery, taking on greater responsibility than anticipated. He has become a driving force in this Villa team.

His solo goal for the equaliser against Bournemouth was typical, featuring that blend of power and finesse that makes him such an awkward opponent. The pass that put Watkins through for what turned out to be the winning goal showed vision too.

Rogers’ success is a reminder of the talent that lurks in the Championship although he is unusual. This is a physical imposing figure but one who ranks among the top 10 dribblers per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season. It is a rare combination.

“I think that is what makes him even more dangerous compared to others who are known for dribbling the ball,” Michael Appleton tells Sky Sports. “It is one thing being nippy with a slight frame and going past people but when you are 6’2″ and you can do that…”

Appleton, who gave Rogers his league debut at Lincoln City, adds: “He has grown into it a bit but he was always a decent stature. The good thing about Morgan is that some of these young players who have these physical attributes they don’t know how to use them.

“Some of them are almost scared of their own shadow at times, aren’t they? Morgan is the opposite. He actually likes the contact. He enjoys people being really tight to him and he can then use his physical frame to roll them on the inside or the outside.”

Rogers in League One action for Michael Appleton’s Lincoln City

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