Former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips has back Ollie Watkins to thrive at The Hawthorns, but only if they can beat rivals Aston Villa to his signature.
The Baggies are thought to be interested in the Brentford striker but they are not alone, with Sky Sports reporting(14:39) that Villa are preparing an opening bid for the sought-after marksman.
Speaking in an interview with West Brom News, however, Phillips was insistent that he would be a success with the Baggies in the top-flight.
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“He was the only one of Brentford’s front-three who stood out against Fulham [in the play-off final defeat],” Phillips told West Brom News.
“I was hoping if Fulham didn’t go up, Mitrovic would’ve been a great shout for West Brom but Brentford haven’t gone up and it wouldn’t be a bad bit of business for Ollie Watkins to come in.
“Of course, it’s a big jump and it’s always a slight gamble but from what I’ve seen in the last two or three months, I think he could make that step up to the Premier League.”
West Brom narrowly beat Brentford to the second automatic promotion spot in the Championship last season, although Watkins’ 26 goals put him far ahead of any Baggies’ player in the golden boot race.
A striker is likely to be high on Slaven Bilic’s transfer wishlist after only having Hal Robson Kanu and Charlie Austin to choose between throughout last season.
This would be a serious coup for West Brom and I agree that Watkins would thrive with West Brom, but I think it would take a miracle for them to land him.
Aston Villa are the favourites in my books. Dean Smith is someone who knows Watkins better than anyone, having brought him to Brentford from Exeter City, and I can see that being a huge selling point for the striker.
It is definitely worth exploring for West Brom, but I think they would be smart to have another back-up or two in mind for the start of the season.