This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Brighton and Hove Albion are reportedly interested in signing Crawley Town forward Max Watters.
The 21-year-old has scored 13 goals in League Two this season, scoring 16 goals in a total of 17 appearances in all competitions.
The forward joined Crawley on a free transfer in the summer, and only has one year left on his deal, though the club are expected to activate a 12-month option in his contract.
Swansea have already had a £500,000 bid rejected for the striker, with West Brom and Watford also said to be interested in his signature.
According to the Daily Mail, it’s Brighton who are now interested in signing Watters. Here, we discuss their interest in the player…
I’m not sure he is at the minute, but I’d still be tempted to move for him if I was involved with Brighton.
A direct step up from League Two to the Premier League is a huge one for any player to make, and the pressure would be huge on Watters were he to join Brighton in particular, given their recent struggles in front of goal, and their position in the table.
Even so, Watters still clearly has a great deal of potential, and at 21-years-old there is plenty of time for him to improve, something he would surely do if he was training – and eventually playing – regularly with Premier League level players such as those he would potentially be linking up with at Brighton.
As a result, Brighton could still be advised to make a move for the striker in January, while he would likely be available for an affordable price from Crawley, rather than lose out on his signature to another of the numerous clubs seemingly interested in him, something which could then come back to bite them in the future.
Whilst I look at this potential transfer and hope that Watters could possibly be the next Charlie Austin or Jamie Vardy in making the jump from Non League to the Premier League in next to no time, it’s a huge step up in quality.
Watters has been in outstanding form for Crawley this season, and whilst Brighton are struggling for goals themselves, the likes of Neal Maupay, Danny Welbeck and Aaron Connolly makes me think that game-time would be extremely hard to come by right now.
But with Watters just 21-years-old, he could be used as one for the future, so it could also be seen as a smart piece of business, especially if Brighton were to loan him out to gain more experience in the EFL.
At the moment, no, but I don’t think Brighton are eyeing Watters up as someone that will make an immediate impact.
The Seagulls have done a fantastic job of acquiring young talent and using the loan system to ensure they’re ready for first-team football – see Ben White and Matt Clarke as prime examples.
Watters looks a really bright talent and given his goalscoring record this season, it’s no surprise to me that Brighton are keen.
That said, the step up from League Two to the Premier League is absolutely massive, so I don’t think we should expect to see him playing for Graham Potter’s side anytime soon.